Identikit and main features
There are two types of Bra cheese: the soft and the hard types. Both have a cylindrical shapes with 30-40cm diameter faces. The weight varies from 5 to 9 kg and the minimun seasoning is 45 days for the soft Bra cheese and 180 days for the hard. The first one has a smooth, grey-white rind, it has an agreeable fragrance and the taste is low intense. The rind of the second one is dark-brown, the taste is spiced and sapid, mostly if it has been seasoned 10 months or more. It can be also grated. The Bra POD is produced using cow’s milk, with an addition of 10% sheep’s and/or goat’s milk. The Bra Pdo is heat at 35° adding liquid veal rennet.
Area of production
The Bra cheese is produced in whole the territories of the Cuneo province, using exclusively local milk. The area of maturing includes the Cuno province and Villafranca Piemonte in the province of Turin. If the Bra Pdo cheeses are produced in the mountains municipalities it is recognised as “d’Alpeggio”.
The Bra chesese has never been produced in the city centre and still today it is mostly produced in the villages spread around the Cuneo valleys. The producrers made the seasoning in Bra and they were those who sold this cheese in Liguria and still today in the Genoese area there is a great demand. The favourable climate conditions and the perfect strategic location of Bra made this town the biggest gathering point for maturing and marketing, done initially on carts drawn by horses. Thanks to some Piedmontese emigrants, this cheese was brought also to the Americas, in fact it was suitable to stand many months of sailing, without perishing even at inevitable sudden changes of temperature. Today the Bra cheese is sold in Piedmont, Liguria, Lombardy, whereas a part of the product is exported. The two typed, Soft and hard Bra (Aoc product since 1983) have been recosgnised Pdo products in 1996.