The ancient origins of Montecrotto date back to a time when Alpine valley farmers needed to preserve surplus cheese wheels for extended periods. They achieved this by storing them in caves, grottoes, and natural rock cavities – cool, humid environments functioning as natural refrigerators. Maturing in these conditions gave the cheese a rustic and unique appearance, thanks to the action of mites. These mites, thriving on the rind, created cavities and small tunnels, allowing air passages within the cheese's interior. This transformation altered the aesthetics, infusing the cheese with an intense flavor and an unmistakable aroma, characterized by a hint of bitterness and forest undertones.
This tradition of consuming this distinctive cheese has endured in the Alpine valleys of Lombardy and continues to be passed down to this day. Montecrotto, a mountain latteria aged in natural caves, faithfully carries forward this ancient tradition. Gildo Formaggi, producer of Montecrotto, is the custodian of this time-honored practice.