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Within our family, the tradition of Formaggio di Fossa® has been handed down from father to son for more than 700 years and has survived unchanged to this day.

Find out step by step what it really means to produce Formaggio di Fossa®.

The experience of those who have always produced it.

The art of making
Formaggio di Fossa
®

01 - Quality of milk and cheese

We only select cheeses deriving from the highest quality milk from farms with open pastures, and cheese made by artisan producers.

Subsequently, in our maturing center we mature the cheeses so that they have all the necessary characteristics to be able to ferment in the Fossa in the best way, and become the Formaggio di Fossa® that we all love.

02 - Pit opening

The Fosse are hollows dug into the sandstone rock of a truncated cone shape with a single opening at the top, which always remain closed, whether they are full or empty.

To open the Fossa, the river stones stuck in the sand are removed, followed by the sand itself. Once this is done, the heavy wooden lid is removed.

Apertura antica Fossa malatestiana del Formaggio di Fossa
Antica Fossa Malatestiana aperta in attesa dell'infossatura del formaggio

03 - Oxygenation

Once the pit is opened at rest, it must be allowed to breathe so that oxygen can enter.

It is in fact impossible to enter the Pit immediately as it lacks oxygen.

04 - Sanitization with fire

When the Pit is oxygenated, it is sanitized with fire.

The flames raise the temperature in order to remove the humidity and sanitize the environment in a natural way.

Sanificazione con il fuoco di una antica Fossa malatestiana prima dell'infossatura del formaggio
Antica Fossa malatestiana rivestita di paglia prima dell'infossatura del formaggio

05 - Stuffing

Inside the Pit, a reed scaffolding is created fixed to the wall, which serves to support a straw cavity.

06 - Flooring

Once the straw is finished, a raised wooden plank is created on the bottom of the Fossa, on which the sacks of cheese will be placed during pitting.

Pavimento in legno sul fondo di una antica Fossa malatestiana prima dell'infossatura del formaggio
Insacchettamento del formaggio prima dell'infossatura in Fossa

07 - Bagging

After the preparation of the Fossa, the cheese is prepared.

 

The cheeses are packed in cotton sacks skilfully tied with a natural rope.

08 - Pitting

Once all the cheese has been bagged, we proceed with the pitting.

The bags are placed in order on the bottom of the Pit until it is completely filled, so that they are as compact as possible.

Sacchi di Formaggio all'interno di una antica Fossa malatestiana
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Chiusura selciato di una antica Fossa malatestiana con sassi e sabbia

09 - Pit closure

Once the Fossa is filled, the mouth is closed with the wooden lid, which is sealed with a cast of plaster.

Then the sand is repositioned and the cobblestone is recreated, camouflaging the Pit again, protecting it from potential attackers.

10 - Anaerobic fermentation

For three months the Pit remains sealed. In this period, the bacterial flora biochemically transforms the cheese into the prized Formaggio di Fossa.

During fermentation, the cheese not only acquires a completely new flavour, but it becomes a highly digestible product, thanks to the splitting of fats and the transformation of lactose into lactic acid.

Sacchi di Formaggio di Fossa all'interno della Fossa durante la sfossatura tradizionale
Sfossatura di Formaggio di Fossa da una antica Fossa malatestiana

11 - Taking the cheese out

After the three months of pitting, the cheese sees the light again. Now in all respects Formaggio di Fossa.

The sacks come out one by one, releasing an intense scent that envelops the entire town of Sogliano.

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12 - Conservation and packaging

The sacks released from the Pit are placed in suitable environments. The cotton sack has always played a fundamental role in preserving Fossa cheese even after it has been pitted: the fabric, soaked in the fat oozing from the cheese, creates an impenetrable barrier to air.

Sacchi di Formaggio di Fossa dopo la sfossatura tradizionale
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