Monte Veronese is a typical cheese of the Veneto region. The area where the milk is produced, and the cheese is transformed and matured is found on the northern side of the province of Verona. It’s a predominantly mountainous region, rich in fertile pastures that bear witness to the ancient tradition of raising cattle, alpine prairies and the production of milk and cheese. In this territory that is similar in many ways to Lessinia, Baldo Mountain and the hilly pre-alpine Veronese, the production of cheese is documented from the beginning of the first century, when it became an invaluable trade commodity in the place of money. The name refers to an expression in Veronese dialect, ‘monta’ which means ‘milking’. There are now two strands of the cheese: ‘whole milk’ Monte Veronese and ‘mature’ Monte Veronese. The two varieties are not distinguished uniquely by their taste, but also in the separate and unique ways in which they are made. The dimensions of the whole cheese are the following: 25 to 35cm in diameter, 6 to 11cm in depth and 6 to 10 kg in weight.
• ‘Whole milk’ Monte Veronese is made with whole cow’s milk, that comes from one or two consecutive milkings. It is ready for sale from 25 days after production. To appreciate to the fullest its underlying and typical characteristics of freshness, it is advised to consume the cheese from 60 days after production. It has a delicate and pleasant taste that resembles milk that has just been taken from the cow, as well as fresh cheese and butter.
• ‘Mature’ Monte Veronese is produced with semi-skimmed cow’s milk that comes from one or two consecutive milkings. It is ready for sale from 90 days after production and up to one, two or even more years after that. There is also ‘mature’ Monte Veronese that is made exclusively from ‘milking milk’ that is taken from alpine cows from May to October. It has a more decisive and flavoursome taste than the other type of cheese. The taste is similar to mature butter or nuts. With maturation it can become slightly spicy.
Fillet of pork with porcini mushrooms with a sauce of old Monte Veronese and Lessinia truffles
Ingredients for the fillet:
• One fillet of pork
• 100 g of fresh porcini mushrooms cooked in
oil, garlic and parsley
• 4-5 slices of lard
• Salt and pepper
Cord to hold together
Ingredients for the salsa:
• 100 g of butter
• 250 g old Monte Veronese, grated
• 350 g liquid cream
Preparating the fillet:
Prepare the fillet by cutting lengthways and opening up. Stuff the inside with the lard and the fried mushrooms and close up again. Tie the meat together with the cord, then season with salt and pepper.
Pan fry with the oil, rosemary and garlic on a hot flame, then put into an oven at 1000 until the meat reaches 600 at its core.
Preparing the salsa:
Melt the butter in a frying pan. Add the cream and, when the mixture starts to boil, add the grated cheese.
Pour two spoons of salsa in the centre of a plate. Place two pieces of the fillet on top, then a few porcini mushrooms and the truffles. The recipe comes from ‘Ristorante 13’, commune of Velo Veronese in Verona.