The province of Cuneo and the commune of Villafranca Piemonte in the province of Turin. The Bra produced in the communes in the province of Cuneo which are classified as “mountain” (law n.991; 07/25/1952) can be called from “alpine pasture”.
Cow’s milk cheese, if necessary with oat’s and ovine milk, fat or half-fat, raw, with pressed and half-hard dough.
Shape and dimensions
Cilindric shape, diameter of plain sides around 30-40 cm.; 7-9 cm. tall with official mark impressed. It weighs 6 to 8 Kilos. Light grey, flexible, smooth and regular rind.
Looks of the dough
The dough is white or ivory, moderately consistent, flexible, neatly breaking with a few little air bubbles.
Bra cheese has gotten its name from the town of Bra, that was in the past the biggest center for seasoning and selling this cheese. It was in Bra that, back then, the cheese was born. According to Delforno, the cheese was born very long ago and the old piedmontese cheese-makers don’t remember any other kind of cheese produced in this zone.
Anyway, back then the enterprising cheese-makers of Bra gathered all the products of the zone of Cuneo and of the alpine pasturesin the town of Bra, from where they brought the cheese to the ports of Liguria.
The main ingredient is cow’s half-fat milk, if necessary with oat’s and ovine milk, gathered during one or two daily milkings. The milk is curdled between 27° and 32° C. with liquid rennet.
The mixture is then broken in pieces as big as hazelnuts, gathered in the “fascere”, if necessary broken again and finally pressed. The salting can be dry or pickled.
The minimum seasoning lasts 45 days in places in which the temperature is 8-10° C and the cheese is regularly brushed and oiled.
Taste and smell
Quite intense milk, leaven, butter and forage flavour. It has the sweet taste of milk, a moderate sapidity and a little bitterness. It is moderately doughy, sometimes feebly flexible.
How to eat it
At the table (very good at the end of the meal) or cooking (salad with walnuts, celery and soft Bra).
Dolcetto di Diano, Langhe Freisa.
Official classification: Presidential Decree; 12/16/1982.
Denominazione di Origine Protetta: Reg. (CE) n. 1263; 07/01/1996.