The milk used to make Casatella Trevigiana DPO may be pasteurised, for between 15 and 25 seconds at a temperature between 70°C and 75°C, with an equivalent time/temperature ratio according to the properties in the milk.
The milk is heated to the coagulation temperature of 34° C – 40° C, depending on the season and acidity level of the milk.
This is achieved by adding milk-starter culture, coming from the production zone outlined in art. 3 of the regulations. This is a very important phase for Casatella cheese, because the acidity defines the final consistency of the cheese, which must be quite firm and not very easy to spread.
The microbes in the cultures used to make Casatella Trevigiana DPO, which give it its typical structure, consistency, flavour and aroma are all local and formed of stock from the Streptococcus thermophilus species and a smaller content of thermophile lactobacillus, which come from Lactobacillus delbrueckii, lactis sub-species.
Milk-starter culture properties:
The culture is obtained from milk that is heated up to between 65°C e 68° C, then cooled down to room temperature and left to ripen until it has an acidity content of 8 – 12 SH/50 ml. If milk-starter culture is used, the amount can vary between 1% and 5% of the milk mass.
Caused by adding liquid or powder bovine rennet.
The amount and title of rennet must guarantee a coagulation time between 15 and 40 minutes.
The title of the rennet can vary between 1:10.000 and 1:20.000. The temperature of the milk when the rennet is added must be between 34° C and 40° C.
First curd breakage:
A cross is cut in the curd, taking care not to crumble the mass inside.
The curd is left to rest, and the synerisis begins and the serum is expelled. The rest time can vary between 45 and 55 minutes. The rest time is much longer than creamy fresh cheeses, and it guarantees that more serum is expelled and creates a firmer coagulation.
Second curd breakage
Very carefully the mass is broken up.
Breakage must be uniform and complete; the granules must be the size of walnuts. The finer cut of the curd with respect to other fresh cheeses, guarantees complete expulsion of the serum and a better consistency for the final cheese.
Agitation, extraction of the curd and fermentation
This phase can last between 7 and 13 minutes, and by slowly agitating the mass the discharge begins.
The curd is then extracted and the cheese is put into cylindrical moulds with perforated sides, with a diameter and height to guarantee form sizes that comply with the standards, considering that the cheese may settle by up to 2 cm when it has been extracted from the mould.
The moulds are placed in fermentation rooms for a varying period of time, up to 3.5 hours for large forms and less for small ones.
The temperature in the fermentation room is between 25° C and 40° C.
The forms are turned between 2 and 4 times during the discharge phase.
Salting takes place in a sea salt solution at 16° – 20° Baume, at a temperature between 4° C and 12° C, for a varying period of time depending on the form, between 40 and 50 minutes for the small forms and between 80 and 120 minutes for large forms.
The cheese can be dry salted by spreading sea salt over the surface, or in a boiler with sea salted added equal to 0.8 % – 1.2% of the mass.
The longer salting phase with respect to other fresh cheeses helps define the typical flavour and consistency of Casatella Trevigiana DPO.
In cells at 2° C – 8° C, for 4 – 8 days, in moulds, turning the forms at least every two days. The cheese can be ripened by applying a cylindrical paper support. The higher temperature and longer ripening time with respect to other fresh cheeses create the typical flavour of Casatella Trevigiana DPO.
Casatella Trevigiana DPO must be sold packaged.
Given the highly perishable and delicate nature of Casatella Trevigiana DPO, a very soft cheese, if it were subjected to lengthy transport without packaging its sensorial and chemical-physical properties could be affected, and in particular the ripening time and nature would be altered.
To guarantee the typical quality features of the product are conserved, it must be packaged within the production zone, reducing the time between production and packaging to a minimum.
Therefore, it must be packaged within the area outlined in article 3, to guarantee the typical nature, traceability, control and to maintain the chemical, physical and sensorial features of Casatella Trevigiana DPO unaltered. The packaging material must comply with the legal dispositions regarding food products, and it must bear the mark and wording as provided by the Production Regulations.