Montasio is a washed curd variety of Italian origin. Relative to other Italian varieties such as Romano and Parmesan, Montasio employs a low cooking temperature (final temperature 43C) but still requires a thermophilic culture. The curd may be pre-pressed under the whey to obtain smoother and more uniform texture. Lipase may be added to produce a more piquant flavour. Montasio is produced in wheels of 2 - 8 kg and is ripened 2 - 4 months for mild table cheese and 12 - 18 months for grating cheese. The mild version is normally vacuum packed before curing. The aged version is cured at 10C and is washed and turned regularly. After several weeks, the ripening cheese may be oiled, waxed or vacuum packed. Montasio is similar to Friulano which was developed in Canada.
Standards: 40% moisture; 28% fat.
- Standardize milk to P/F = 1.07 and pasteurize.
- Add 1.0% thermophilic starter (0.5% each of S. thermophilus and L. bulgaricus) at 310C. Ripen for 1 hr. or until acidity increases 0.01%.
- Measure 190 ml rennet per 1,000 kg milk. Dilute the rennet with 10 volumes of water and add the mixture to the milk. Curd should be firm enough to cut in 25 - 30 min.
- Cut into cubes with 1/4" (6.4 mm) knives when curd is firm.
- Turn on steam. Heat (slowly at first -- 2 degrees every 5 minutes) to a final temperature of 39C. Hold at 39C until the pH of the whey is 6.1 (about 2 hr. from the time of cutting).
- Drain whey to the level of the curd.
- Add hot water (60C) until the curd-whey mixture is 43C. Hold at 43C for 10 min. with agitation.
- Drain completely.
- Place curd in cylindrical forms and let drain at room temperature overnight.
- Place in salt brine for 12 hrs.
- Vacuum pack and cure at 10 - 12C for 1 - 3 months.