The Pits of Sogliano
Formaggio di Fossa di Sogliano DOP is a typical local product obtained by anaerobic fermentation following a rigorously applied production process.
The underground pits are dug out of the tuff in the area between the Rubicone and Marecchia valleys, straddling the regions of Romagna and the Marches. In the Middle Ages they were used as granaries.
The art of maturing cheese in pits
The process of maturing cheese in pits has remained unchanged for centuries. Expert workers burn straw inside the pits to remove any damp accumulated and to sterilise them. The walls are covered with a framework of canes which are then covered with an insulating layer of straw.
At this point the pit is ready for the cheese which is packed in cloth bags and stored with a precise layout arrangement.
The pits are closed with wooden trapdoors and sealed with plaster to prevent any contact with oxygen.
The cheese which transforms and changes
The pits are opened three months later. During that period various chemical, physical and microbiological changes take place after which the cheese acquires unique aromas and flavours. Only then, after the “miraculous” change, can the owners take out their bags, paying a fee for each pound of cheese matured.
Formaggio di Fossa di Sogliano DOP, ready for consumption, has a hard crumbly consistency. It comes in irregular shapes, without a rind and has an unmistakeably intense sharp flavour.