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There is a little mountain village in Brescia province (Lombardy region), Bagolino, where a cheese called "Bag˛ss" is produced.

The bag˛ss is a mountain cheese made with traditional and ancient methods: cooking in copper vat using wood and fire.
It is a raw cow milk, partially and naturally skimmed by surfacing.
It has a minimum maturation of 12 months but usually 2-3 years until 4 years.
During the process and after the curd cut, the cheesemaker adding a little spoon of saffron.

It has a cilindric shape of about 40-55 cm and height (height=scalzo) of 11-12 cm.
Thee weight is between 17 and 22 kg.
The paste colour is characterised by the addition of saffron, so it has a straw-yellow colour.
The rind is hard, smooth and oiled because during maturing the rind is smeared with raw linseed oil, which gives it the its typical ochre-brown colour.
A matured Bagoss has a hard grain paste and it breaks into flakes.


How is it made?

The raw cow's milk must come only from the Bagolino territory and from cows of the brown breed ("razza Bruna-Alpina"): The cows graze in the 22 mountain pastures of the area.

The milk - partially skimmed and filtered - is poured into basins. The cream ("panna") that emerges - which will be used to make butter - is removed.
So, after a day the milk is ready for the production of cheese.

COOKING: Milk is placed in copper vat and heated until 39° C, when the calf rennet is added. After about 30 minutes takes place a first cut of curd and after the curd is reduced in granules by a "spino" tool.

SAFFRON: At this point a the addition of a little spoon of saffron is added with the aim to give colour only.

CURD COOKING: At that point takes place a further cooking of the curd until 50 ░ C. The mass of cheese goes down into the container; it is then pressed, put in linen cloths and placed in wooden moulds.

BRANDING: the cheesemakers put a plastic band with manufacturer code, production date with number of weeks, month, year.

MATURING: Maturation takes place in structures called 'reolt', damp cellars made of earth and stones: an ideal place for maturing the cheese.
During maturing the wheels must be cleaned, cleaned, scraped, oiled many times, depending on maturing time of cheese.

Production area

The bag˛ss cheese is produced in the territory of Bagolino only. There is a producers' cooperative "Valle di Bagolino" which includes 28 farms.

NOTE: to produce a 20 kg wheel of Bag˛ss occur about 300 litres of milk

Some producers

La Malga del Re
Bagolino (BS)

For the protection of this cheese, there is a producers' cooperative that reunites all Bagoss producers.
For any kind of information, contact:

email: coop.vallebagolino@libero.it
website: http://www.bagossbagolino.it/




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