Cheeses of the Piedmont Region of Italy
Characteristics (Denomination of Protected Origin 1 July 1996) –Toma Piemontese is a cylindrical cheese produced in two sizes: large (6-8 kg) with a diameter of 24-34 cm and small (1.8-5.9 kg) with a diameter of 15-25 cm. Ripening lasts at least 15 days for the small size and 60 days for the large size.
There are two type of Toma Piemontese:
• Toma Piemontese: the crust is smooth, elastic and regular. The colour ranges from light straw yellow to reddish brown depending on age. The dough is white or ivory-white with small and sparse holes. The texture is moderately firm and elastic. The odour is soft with milk and creamcharacteristics. The taste is also very soft and mainly sweet. It is produced in small and large size.
• Toma Piemontese semigrassa (semi-skimmed): the crust is smooth and regular but not elastic. The colour is wrinkled, hard, and reddish-grey with yellow and white highlights depending on its age. The dough is yellowish with small and sparse holes. The texture is consistent and is not elastic. The odour is strong and persistent. The taste is very savoury and mainly salty in ripened products. It is produced only in large size.
Production area - The cheese is produced throughout the provinces of Cuneo, Biella, Novara, Turin, Verbania and Vercelli and in some villages in the provinces of Alessandra and Asti.
Cheesemaking - The Toma Piemontese is produced with raw or pasteurised cows’ milk. The milk is coagulated by the addition of bovine liquid rennet at a temperature of 32-35 °C. When pasteurised milk is used, a commercial starter generally containing thermophilic and mesophilic lactic bacteria is used. The curd is cut twice to produce granules about the size of maize grains. After draining, the curd is put in moulds and pressed for at least 5-6 hours. The cheese is then salted in brine for about 36 hours but dry salting is also common. The Toma Piemontese semigrassa (semi-skimmed) is produced with skimmed raw or pasteurised cows’ milk. The cheesemaking is similar to that used for Toma Piemontese.
Composition - The composition of Toma Piemontese is given in table 4.
Table 4. The composition of Toma Piemontese cheeses
Fat (% dry matter)
How to cite this article
Zeppa, Giuseppe (2004). [On-line]. Available from: http://dairyscience.info/index.php/cheeses-of-the-piedmont-region-of-italy/72-toma-piemontese.html . Accessed: 22 May, 2013.