The story of Quartirolo Lombardo dates back to the dark ages, in far way lands that had witnessed a succession of barbaric invasions and crises of power, and in which cattlemen were loyal to the whims of mother nature, patiently waiting for the passing of seasons. We are in the tenth century: animals, after a summer spent on high mountain hills return to the lowlands to prepare for a winter in the stable. In these last moments of summer, it was normal to feed cows with fresh grass from the third cut of the season – otherwise known as erba quartirola or ‘fourth grass’. It’s precisely this fresh grass, coming just before the icy winter, which characterizes Quartirolo Lombardo: not only does the grass lend the cheese its name; it also gives the cheese its unique and characteristic taste.
Quartirolo Lombardo PDO is produced and matured exclusively in Lombardy, in the provinces of Bergamo, Brescia, Como, Cremona, Lecco, Lodi, Milan, Pavia and Varese.
Each cheese comes in a characteristic parallelepiped quadrangle shape, weighing from 1.7kg to 3.5 kg with sides of 18 to 22 cms and a base of 4 to 8 cms. The dough is white, with slight lumps that become compact with maturating. To taste, it’s slightly acidic as a young cheese and fragrant as it matures. The white, subtle and soft rind that appears on cheeses that are sold after five days becomes naturally rose- coloured with the mature variety that is sold after 30 days.
Quartirolo Lombardo should be kept in the fridge at a temperature of 2 to 6°C. It can be wrapped in a damp linen cloth or in aluminium foil. It should be served at room temperature.
Vol au vent with melted Quartirolo Lombardo
Ingredients for 6 people:
• 200 grams of Quartirolo Lombardo
• 50 grams of butter
• 50 grams of white flour
• .5 litre of milk
• 1 egg yolk
• A few rocket leaves
Prepare a soft béchamel, add in the softened Quartirolo Lombardo, the egg yolk and the chopped rocket. Fill the vol au vents with the mixture, put in the oven for 5 minutes and serve hot.