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The A B C of Bella Lodi

Everything you always wanted to know about cheese.


A

Acidification

Increase in acidity of milk obtained by leaving it to rest for a few hours or by adding particular microorganisms.

B

Bella Lodi

The typical Lodi cheese with a black crust.

Breaking Curd

This operation is performed manually with special tools known as ‘spini’ or ‘lire’. During this operation the curd is broken to encourage separation and flushing out of the whey.

Brine

Saturate solution consisting of water and cooking salt.

Bubbles

Small air bubbles that form inside the cheese during maturation.

Butter

Product obtained from the cream taken from cow’s milk, cow’s milk whey or from a mixture of these products.

C

Casein

Protein that is found in abundance in milk (80% of the proteins). Consists of different parts that are made to coagulate by the enzymes and acidity to form the curd.

Coagulation

Phase during which acidity, temperature, the mineral salts in the milk and the addition of rennet precipitate the casein, separate the whey and form the curd.

Colostrum

Milk secreted by the mother in the first days after birth, chemically different from so-called standard milk.

Cream

Derived from milk that separates as it comes to the surface or during the centrifugal creaming phase; used for preparing butter and cream.

Crosta nera

The characteristic crust of Bella Lodi cheese, typical of the Lodi "granone" cheese, the father of all grana cheeses.

Curds

First product of coagulation of the milk after adding rennet or after coagulation of the milk.

D

Dry matter

The matter that constitutes the cheese once the water has been eliminated.

E

Enzyme

Milk contains about 60 different types of enzyme and many of them have a significant technological importance. An enzyme is a complex organic substance that fosters certain chemical reactions.

F

Faces

The two levels, top and bottom face, that make up the rest surface in the cylindrical forms of the cheeses. They may be convex, flat or concave and often display the area of origin trademark.

Fat

A basic component of milk, where it consists of suspended globules wrapped in membrane full of phospholipids and vitamins. It contributes fundamentally to the flavour and aroma of the cheese. Fat content determines the classification of cheese: low fat (below 20%), semifat (between 20 and 42%) and fat (over 42%).

Floating to the surface

Physiological process by which the fat emulsion that develops in the milk that has been left to rest comes to the surface because of a difference in specific weight.

Formaggio lodigiano

A high-quality product made exclusively in its geographical area of origin from select and certified milk from cows bred in a limited area of the Po Plains

Forms

Forms in which the curd is collected after it has been removed from the cheese vat. In the production of soft cheeses they are used to let the curd drip; forms are used to press hard cheeses.

G

Gonfiore

Alterazione presente nei formaggi cotti, si sviluppa in conseguenza dello sviluppo di microrganismi gasogeni.

Granone

This is the name of the Lodi cheese that was the first grana ever made and it became the precursor of all grana cheeses. All Italian experience with grana type cheese was acquired from making Granone. Bella Lodi continues this pedigree.

H

Heat treatment

Heat treatment of the raw milk (at least 15 seconds at a temperature of between 57 to 68 degrees).

L

Lactose

The sugar that is present in milk.

Lipolysis

Process by which fats are separated. It is favoured by the presence of specific enzymes (lipase).

Lodigrana

The only company in the world that makes genuine Bella Lodi.

M

Maturation

Final result obtained after different chemical and physical phenomena that affect the curd and determine the aroma and taste of the cheese and the external and internal (texture) appearance of the cheese. The temperature and humidity of the premises in which the cheeses are left to mature is fundamentally important for the purposes of maturation.

Maturing

The final phase of cheese manufacturing that determines its definitive characteristics and conditions. It is carried out in special places (cellars, caves, etc) or in cells with controlled temperatures.

Milk

In its simple meaning the word ‘milk’ refers only to cow’s milk. This is a complete product obtained from the full and continuous milking of a healthy, well-nourished and unstressed cow. The milk must be carefully and hygienically collected and must not contain colostrum.

Milk ferments

Microorganisms that encourage the acidification and the maturation of the milk and the curd. They intervene in the fermentation of lactose and other fundamental components of the milk and define the organoleptic qualities of the cheeses.

Milking

May be manual or by machine. Operation by which all the milk is made to emerge from the animal’s mammary glands.

Mountain pasture

Mountain area that is used in the summer months as a pasture for dairy herds. It is rich in fodder that gives the milk special qualities.

P

Parmesan cheese

This name is illegally and in erroneously used to refer to ?grana? cheese in many parts of the world.

Pasteurisation

Heat treatment of milk to eliminate harmful microorganisms. The minimum duration is 15 seconds at a temperature of at least 71.7 degrees.

Pressing

Phase of processing of hard uncooked cheeses. Through this operation, pressure is exerted in order to make the whey emerge before it forms a consistent rind layer.

Proteins

Fundamental constituents of milk whose functional properties determine its main technological features. Heterogeneous nitrogenated compounds that fall into two categories: caseins and whey proteins.

Proteolysis

Process of separation of the complex molecules of the caseins in simpler nitrogenated substances (amino acids). Occurs during maturation of the cheeses.

Purging

Natural or induced by pressing or salting the cheeses. Refers to the separation of the whey from the curds.

R

Raspadüra

A typical term belonging to the Lodi dialect. Bella Lodi rediscovers the ancient «raspa» technique, a way of serving cheese by presenting it in very fine flakes that are scraped off using a particular type of knife.

Raspadüra lodigiana

Typical way of ?flaking? the young cheese with a special blade to obtain long thin, but compact, flakes. Genuine Raspadura is made exclusively with Lodi cheese like Bella Lodi.

Rennet

Extract of animal origin that is a proteolytic enzyme that coagulates casein. It is obtained from the stomach of calves, kids or lambs. It is sold as a powder, liquid, pellets or as a paste. The coagulating substances may also be of vegetable or fungal origin.

S

Salting

Treatment to which the cheese is subjected before maturing. The salt has a preservative, antiseptic and osmotic action. Salting can be dry or in brine.

Scalzo

La faccia laterale della forma. Può essere dritto, convesso o concavo.

Silage

Silage Feedstuff consisting of cereals, particularly maize, harvested before it is completely ripe and kept to feed cattle during winter.

Sotto-crosta

Surface layer of the cheese located immediately underneath the rind. Has a more intense colour and stronger taste.

Spino

Tool used for ‘manually’ cutting the curds into pieces as large as a substance of rice.

Starters

Addition to milk of selected microorganisms that develop naturally in milk (milk starter) or in whey (whey starter) that are required to acidify the milk.

Steaming

Processing phase of cheese that completes the fermentation process. It consists of placing the cheeses in a damp place (at a temperature of between 24 and 28 degrees) for a variable length of time (24 hours at most).

Sterilisation

Operation to which milk for consumption is subjected in order to increase its shelf life even at ambient temperature. Heat treatment of raw milk lasts at least one second at a temperature of at least 135 degrees; the milk must not show any alteration after sterilisation.

Swelling

Alteration in cooked cheeses that develops as a consequence of the development of gasogenous microorganisms.

Stagionatura

La fase terminale della fabbricazione del formaggio che ne determina le caratteristiche e le condizioni definitive. Viene effettuata in locali appositi (cantine, grotte, ecc.) o in celle termoregolate.

Synerisis

The phenomena that cause the whey to be expelled from the curd.

T

Tipico lodigiano

"Grainy cheese", premium quality, produced and matured in its geographical area of origin; it is also often referred to as "granone lodigiano".

W

Whey proteins

Proteins that remain dissolved in milk whey and which are not precipitated by the action of the rennet or by acidity.

Y

Yield

Transformation of milk into cheese during cheesemaking. Expressed as a percentage (kgs of cheese obtained per 100 kg of milk used).