Goat’s milk cheeses
Fresh Caprino is a low-fat cheese obtained from the transformation of goat’s milk from animals raised in the territory of the province of Vicenza. In Vicenza, this cheese has a long and consolidated tradition, which is definitely older than the cheeses made from cow’s milk. For the production of Caprino, in addition to the milk, milk enzymes are also needed, along with vegetable curdles, average grain to fine grain marine salt and aromatic herbs. As soon as the goats are milked, the product is collected in vats, where it is refrigerated and conserved with the product of other milkings. The milk transformed into cheese is taken in fact from milkings within the space of 72 hours. Refrigeration takes place at a temperature of 4 C°, while the containers in which the milk is conserved must be of inert and easily washable material. The phases of production continue with pasteurization of the milk at a temperature between 68° and 72° C, followed by cooling and addition of the curdles. Coagulation of the milk takes place over a fairly long period, of 16-18 hours, and is followed by the eventual addition of aromatic herbs. Following extraction of the curds, the coagulated milk is placed in forms; the classical operations of draining, salting and turning complete the phases of production of this cheese. Caprino packages must be identified with the name of the dairy, the lot number and the due date of the product, which corresponds to the date of production plus thirty days. The finished product has the form of a parallelepiped, an average weight of about 200 grams, soft and spreadable pasta and the unmistakeable slightly acid taste. The cheese of this type of origin guarantee is provided by the technical cheese certification regulations of the “Land of Palladio” Consortium. All of the dairies belonging to the organisation must be in possession of the prerequisites specified by the regulations.
The secret of “aged” Caprino is the length of the aging period. This cheese was produced in the area of Vicenza in early medieval times, when cattle raising was still not widespread. Produced with pure
goat’s milk, it requires an aging period of approximately one year. It is aged in the area of the province of Vicenza and in general throughout the northern Veneto region. It normally requires an aging period that varies from two to six months, even though it is not rare to see Caprino on the market having a year long aging period. During this period, the forms are subjected to a particular treatment, which consists in rubbing them with oil and vinegar to prevent moulding. A form of aged Caprino is generally cylindrical and its weight may vary from 800 grams to two kilos. It has a hard and rough crust, from yellow to nut brown in colour; the pasta is compact, soft and white; the taste is delicate but decisive, spicy if it has a long aging.
- Name of the product: “Caprino” -Vicentine hillside and mountain cheese, which has a long tradition tied to the ancient activity of raising goats.
From goat’s milk cottage cheese to fresh “Caprino”, from the “mezzano” to aged cheese, the production offers a truly varied and interesting assortment, with gradations of taste capable of satisfying the most demanding of palates.
- The milk: Caprino is a particularly light and digestible milk, which was once used for children and the elderly. The type of food eaten by the goats contributes to the particular perfume of this milk.