In Valle Camonica there is a little, tasty cheese named fatulì, standing out for its delicate flavour. It’s made with raw milk from a native goat breed, the Bionda dell’Adamello (the “Adamello’s blonde goat”, a goat of medium size with coats ranging in color from pale brown to blond), a rare breed with only 4.000 head of cattle, saved by extinction thanks to the effort of the farmers and the community. The shepherds used to smoke the fatulì in the Alpine huts, burning aromatic benches of juniper, for a long-lasting preservation.
Fatulì means “small cheese” and not “small piece” as often reported: in the ancient dialect of Valle di Saviore (the core of its production) “formagella” cheese was called føta.
The production is certified according to a precise procedure: the milk has to be milked at most two following times, the goats must be bread in the wild, eating mountain herbs that give to the milk a unique taste while no GMO (genetically-modified organism) and/or animal flour are allowed.
The cheese is recognized by Slow Food Italy, it is a traditional agricultural product and with other important acknowledgments. Fatulì is synonymous of tradition, sustainability, environmental protection, ancient production techniques and the wellness of breeders and animals.
Fatulì is typically small and cylindrical with flat sides. The rind, darker or lighter depending on the level of smoking, shows the characteristic grooves left from the grates.
The smoke process takes place a few days after the production, from February to October, on grids arranged on the fireplace, burning juniper but also hazelnut tree or beech. The diameter has to be from 10 to 14 cm (4/5 inches) and a weight of 3/5 hg (14 ounces) per piece. Aging lasts from 30 days to six months for a tougher cheese, good to shave.
Try the fatulì toasted or raw, with honey, fruit or onion compotes. One of the most delicious ways is the recipe of “risotto” with pears and fatulì, or pizza with fatulì and leeks.