The Montébore Slow Food Presidium: history and characteristics

by Redazione Fine Taste

Montébore Slow Food Presidium: what type of cheese is it? What's the story? What are its characteristics?

Let's find out together.

The production area

Talking about Montébore means talking about a specific geographical enclave, Val Curone, in the territory of the Four Provinces, that is, that portion of the Apennines between the provinces of Alessandria, Genoa, Pavia and Piacenza

One hour from Milan, another world, another dimension.

Nature still intact, little building devastation, slow and noble rhythms and courageous dedication to quality productions.

A NOT tourist DESTINATION, unfortunately. Langhe and Monferrato are preferred, areas of great appeal and equally high food and wine quality.

It's a shame, because changing itinerary is always possible and we at Fine Taste highly recommend it.


In Val Curone and the nearby Val Borbera, a small group of resilient cheesemakers (among which Caseificio Terre del Giarolo stands out) produces a unique cheese in the world: Montébore. Sweet, soft, doughy, delicate and complex, but above all in the shape of a wedding cake, so much so that it seems it was originally served only on the occasion of the most important weddings, including the very famous one between Isabella of Aragon and Gian Galeazzo Sforza in 1489. As well as to serve the Montébore, guess who was commissioned to stage the wedding? To Leonardo da Vinci!

(*) Jacopo Trotti, ambassador from Este writes: “Leonardo was asked to create the scenic machine, giving shape and movements to the Earthly Paradise…The Paradise was made in the likeness of a half egg, which on the inside was all with certain cracks where all the seven planets were located, according to their high and low degrees. Around the edge of the half egg were the 12 signs, with certain lights inside the glass, which made a gallant and beautiful sight: in which Paradise were many songs and very sweet and sweet sounds”.


The characteristic wedding cake shape is obtained by overlapping, after dry salting with Cervia sea salt, three shapes with decreasing diameter . The color of the rind is variable, from straw yellow to dark hazelnut depending on the seasoning, the paste is ivory in colour. It is composed only and exclusively of raw milk: 70% cow's milk and 30% sheep's milk.

On the nose, slightly animalic and slightly spicy odors are perceived. In the mouth, notes of milk and butter are initially highlighted, while chestnut predominates in the finish accompanied by herbaceous nuances. It can be enjoyed fresh after a week, semi-matured (fifteen days) or grated after two months of maturation. It is therefore a very versatile cheese and perfect on many occasions, we recommend it accompanied by dried fruit and chestnut honey. Exquisite!

If you would like to try it, you can find it here .

(*) Valeria Arnaldi – Artist breakfasts. Masterpieces in the kitchen from Leonardo to Picasso. Lit Editions