Hard pasture cheese made from Bruna cow milk


Hard pasture cheese made from Bruna cow milk

Silter is a semi-fat hard cheese, with a Protected Designation of Origin trademark (D.O.P.). It is obtained exclusively from the milk of grazing cows, both in the mountain pastures and in the valley floor. It is also a Slow Food Presidium.
The Silter is made with the milk from Bruna breed of cows, and partly from the breeds Pezzata Rossa and Grigia Alpina.
The cows are raised on pastures during the favourable seasons and in stables in the winter; from October to May they stay on the valley floor, while in summer they go up to the mountain pastures.

The term Silter comes from Celtic and indicates a small cheese maturing room, a cave (called shilter), often carved into the stone.
The first historical document attesting its production in Valle Camonica dates back to the end of the 1,600s.

Silter is a semi-cooked cheese, made with the milk of several milking sessions, the first of which is skimmed by the natural surfacing of the cream. After processing, the wheels are made in moulds, each weighing 10-16 kilos and with a diameter of 34-40 centimetres. The wheels are large and heavy.
Silter has a hard and consistent rind and a compact paste with a few regular holes, which colour varies from straw yellow when made in the summer and fainter when made in the winter.
When you smell it, you can first perceive the pasture and alpine herbs and, in some cases, you can smell chestnut flour.
It has a notable aromatic character and is excellent consumed on its own, but it can also be a good ingredient as a filling or seasoning for tortelloni, risotto and gnocchi.

Silter cheese is produced all year round, in the mountain pastures and in the winter resorts, in Val Camonica and in the Sebino area of ​​Brescia. Aging can vary from a minimum of six up to thirty-six months.
A longer aging (during which the wheels must be regularly turned, clean and massaged with linseed oil) allows the cheese to best express its qualities: appearance, colour, shape, aroma, flavour, consistency.

Today, Silter cheese is protected by a Consortium based in Breno, which brings together producers and seasoners from the Camuno - Sebino area.
The Silter D.O.P. branding iron is given to the producers who follow the Production Regulations, to certify every wheel.
In December, Ponte di Legno hosts the Silter cheese festival.

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Cuisine and territory have always been linked, not so much because of the belief that what is born behind the house is better than the rest, but simply because local products were immediately available to those who had to cook.
Traditional cuisine, which is seasonal, derives from what has happened over time in a place and from the products of that place.