Typical Italian cheeses: Poina enfumegada

Typical Italian cheeses: Poina enfumegada

Origins and production area

The poina enfumegada (smoked ricotta) is produced in Trentino (Val di Sole, Val di Fassa, Fiera di Primiero), only during the summer. It is also produced in the Belluno area.
These products were made in the hut, or on farms or in turnaria dairies. Subsequently, when the shift or social dairies of the individual countries stopped their activity, they transferred their traditions and knowledge to the Primiero District Social Dairy (R. M. Grosselli, 1989). The importance, in the past, of this product, is underlined in particular by a document by Cesare Battisti (1912) which cites: According to a statistic from 1898, the production of dairy products from the 42 alpine pastures (then active in Primiero) was 20616 kg of butter , 38072 kg of cheese and 5316 of ricotta. It is important to underline that from the year 1900 onwards there has been a constant decrease in cattle due to a continuous increase in prices which recommended their sale. As far as the processing is concerned, there are various testimonies, including that of Corrado Trotter who in the volume Vita Primierotta in his costumes, traditions, legends (1979) reports: There are two species of poìna: that of soft and tasty goat and the smoked and seasoned one which served as a still unknown parmesan cheese. The poìna represented a very important product for the survival of the population. Proof of this is that in the rental contracts of the mountain huts they conferred a certain amount of poìna on admission (hospice for the elderly and the sick)

Tissot L., Primierotto Dictionary, Primiero-San Michele allAdige, Primiero District - Museum of the uses and customs of the Trentino people, 1976 (1995), under the heading: Poìna.

Poina enfumegada

Poina fumada (photo

Characteristics and production phases

It is obtained from the residual whey from the cheese processing. The best is that obtained from the whey of fat cheeses. It is smoked to keep it longer. It can be aged for up to five months.
Poina Enfumegada (smoked) has an external brown color.
After the draining, the shapes are placed on wooden laths or shelves above the larìn (hearth). The normal combustion of the wood and the consequent production of fumes was sufficient in about a week to complete the smoking of the poin. It is worth pointing out, however, that the ricotta forms were left on top until they were consumed or stored in the vòlt, at room temperature. The same smoking process is carried out by hand even in our day, as smoking in special ovens does not lead to the same result (in practice a different product is obtained).

Gastronomy and recommended wines

Poina enfumegada is used as a dressing for potato gnocchi or served together with polenta.

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