The Lake Maggiore area and the valleys in its hinterland are renowned in Italy and abroad for the cheese produced from animals grazing on mountain pastures, which is a feature of the local culinary culture.
The ample lush pastures of the valleys have given the area a long tradition of high quality cheese production.
Classic local cheeses are the Ossolano d’Alpe, a cow’s milk cheese with a tasty yet mild flavour, the celebrated Bettelmatt, with a restricted production in only 7 alps in the Antigorio and Formazza valleys, and Mottarone, with its characteristic straw-yellow colour and many others such as goat’s milk cheese and ricotta. These cheeses are made on the high mountain pastures or in the dairies lower down in the valleys: for example, the Cooperative Dairy of the Antigorio Valley in Crodo.
Cheese is also made on the shores of the lake; an example is the Formagella of Luino, a medium-firm cheese made with whole raw goat’s milk.
And on the subject of superior regional products – don’t forget one of the best: Gorgonzola, which is made in the Varese and Novara areas and in the surrounding hills.