Ossolano Cheese (or Mezzapasta or Spress)
It is the founder of all the mountain cheese produced in Ossola and Sesia Valley. It is a fat cheese characterized by a longer maturation process and, therefore, it must be produced with partially skimmed milk. The rounds have a variable weight (from 5 to 6 kilos); the color of the rind, with a medium consistency, goes from yellow-light brown to brown-grey according to the maturation process. The texture, compact and hard, can be straw yellow or intense yellow and generally has small, widely-spaced, and irregular holes. To produce Ossolano cheese, the curd is broken twice: the first time - coarsely - after coagulation (at 30°C), the second - thinner, as a rice grain - during the cooking stage (at 40°C). After the manual extraction with the clothes, the texture is put into molds, energetically pressed and salted on both sides (dry or pickled). The maturation process can last from 3 to 14 months.
Ossolano cheese (or Mezzapasta or Spress)
(photo by: Archivio Parco Nazionale Val Grande)