Quartirolo Lombardo DOP
Quartirolo Lombardo is an Italian DOP cheese sorts, in fact it is protected and guaranteed, as it happens with the best products from Lombardy, by a consortium, that safeguards the name of the product and its traditional production methods. The consortium was created in 1990, when 11 of the biggest producers in the region signed an agreement so that a united and compact group of individuals could control the attempts to reproduce the typical products by committing fraud and forgery.
Since then Quartirolo cheese has come a long way in our cooking tradition, as a result more producers joined the agreement, reaching the number of more than 20 cheese producing and ageing companies. Around 80 other participants also joined, representing those companies dedicated to the commercialization of Quartirolo Lombardo cheese.
Over the years the production has become broader, reaching the production of 4000000 kilograms. This is a great source of satisfaction, but also responsibility, for the consortium and its members, since the more the products are sold, the more they have to fight illegal producers that sell as Quartirolo a low-quality product that is totally different from the DOP guaranteed Quartirolo. For this reason, the technicians of the consortium monitor the produced quantities and an external certifier that has been certified by the consortium, called CertiproDop, systematically controls the stables and cowsheds, as well as retail stores and gives its approval to the recognition of the DOP label for a certain product.
Besides safeguarding the brand and control the production, the consortium has a really important role in the cheese producing factories as well as in the aging factories, offering its technical assistance in order to raise the quality of the finished product even more. The area of origin of milk, of production and ageing of cheese includes the areas of Bergamo, Brescia, Como, Cremona, Lecco, Lodi, Milano, Pavia and Varese.
Quartirolo has a quadrangular parallelepiped-like shape and it can weigh between 1 and 3,5 kg. The rind is thin and soft and it is a white-grey color if the cheese is fresh, whereas it has a green tint if the cheese is more aged.
At first the paste is crumbly and lumpy, but it gets more compact with ageing. Its taste is unique, aromatic and slightly acid, the amount of fat represents less than 30%, as suggested in the original recipe. It is perfect for salads and main courses like risotto and pairs beautifully with both meat and fish.