Tasty reads

Ricotta piemontese

January 23, 2012


Production zone

The whole region.


Produced with the remainings of the lavoration of cow’s, oat’s and ovine milk.

Shape and dimensions

Typical conic shape, derived from its being produced in cloths with the angles tied. Sometimes it can be cylindric, when it’s made in particular boxes. Weigh: one to two kilos.

Looks of the dough

Fine and soft dough, slightly granular (rougher in the moulds made with cow’s milk), white or whitish, sometimes with pale green shades.


In Piemonte and Valle d’Aosta the Ricotta is also called “Seirass”, “Seras” or “seré”, from latin Seracium, and french Serai or Seret (in Swiss and Haute Savoie it is still called Sérac).

The ricotta, being a product made with remaining stuff after the lavoration of milk, was widelt diffused in the Middle Ages; the doctor from Vercelli Pantaleone da Confienza talked about it in his “Summa Lacticiniorum” (1477), seeing in the “Seras di Nus” made in Valle d’Aosta the archetipe of the making of this cheese. Pantaleone said he had eaten very good “Seras” also in Avigliana, Chieri and Savigliano.

Production technique

The whey remaining from the making of cheese (generally raw) is warmed up to 80-90°C. The high temperature allows proteins to coagulate; they assume a particular shape and come to the surface. To speed upo the coagulation some citric acid can be added.

Then the whey is skimmed, and the ricotta thus obtained is put in a basket or a linen cloth, and drained. Some makers add a little milk to the whey. The ricotta made with sole whey is the lightest one.

Taste and smell

It has sweet milk, forage, sometimes grass flavors. Its main characteristic is freshness. Its taste is sweet and delicate, especially in the moulds made with ovine milk,which are a bit fatter. It is very rich in proteins.

How to eat it

Alone or in dishes (pasta with ricotta, tomatoes and basil, agnolotti filled with ricotta and vegetables).

Recommended wines

Roero Arneis, Langhe Favorita, Langhe Chardonnay.