|Branzi FTB is a semi-cooked cheese, made from whole cow’s milk. To produce it, the milk is curdled at a temperature of 35 – 37°C by adding liquid calf rennet, in order to obtain the curd in about 30 - 35 minutes. The curd is then broken up to obtain cheese grains of a size similar to a grain of rice; the curd is then heated to a temperature of 45-46°C. During this procedure, everything must be continually blended in a delicate and constant manner. After cooking and a brief period of time when the curds deposit at the bottom of the cauldron, they are removed with special cloths and placed in wooden moulds. This is followed by pressing and salting, the latter usually in a brine bath.
Ageing is fundamental for the quality of Branzi cheese and takes place in climate-controlled surroundings, with a temperature of about 10 degrees and a humidity of approximately 90 per cent. The forms are turned several times, brushed and rasped and treated to protect the rind. Ageing times range from 60 days to 6-7 months. If properly cared for, Branzi can keep for well over a year.
It is cylindrical in shape, with a diameter of 40-50 centimetres. The slightly concave V-shaped side is 9 centimetres high. It can weigh between 10 and 12 kilos. Its flavour is mild and delicate; with ageing, it becomes stronger, tending towards sharp. It has a characteristic aroma, largely due to the plants present in the forage. The rind is smooth, thin and supple and soft yellow in colour. The cheese is soft and straw-coloured and has fine, regular and not extensive holes.