Unusual cheeses

In Padua, the Friulian cheese Montasio or Latteria is called Carnia. Yet luckily for us, and our Carnic friends, the region also produces formadi salât and formadi frant. The first, a variation of formadi asìn, is a soft paste cheese which was originally left to coagulate in warm water or at room temperature rather than heated. It was then immersed in brine, the formula for which was a jealously kept secret (on a par with that of coca-cola), which helped to preserve it (the cheese once reached the tables of the High Priests of Venice and Trieste, no less!). Originally, formadi frant was a means of rendering ‘failed’ cheeses edible. These no longer exist, unless one counts those industrially processed abominations. Today, frant is made with a mixture of crumbled cheeses of varying ages, to which salt, pepper, milk, and cream are added, moulded into a kind of cheese-like shape and then, thanks to some friendly bacteria, fermented for forty days. After which, it is all yours for the tasting, with potatoes perhaps, or a nice drop of Carnic cider.

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