Hidden ina treasure trove of natural abundance, the pristine pastures perched on the mountain slopes are the jewels in the crown of Ticino, an exeptionally beautiful and unspoilt rural alpine region. The rattle of cowbells is the soundtrack to an alpine lifestyle that follow the slow progression of the seasons. Those who walk through the mountain pastures find it impossible to resist trying the products crafted by the skiful hands of cheese makers.
The milk used gives the cheese unique aromas and flavours, depending on the fodder consumed by the cow, which can include Alpine Lovage, Golden Hawk's-beard, Ribwort Plantain and various species of alpine clover. There are Alpine cheeses and full-fat and semi-fat Formagella as well as the semi-hard and full-fat Formaggi di Caseificio ("Dairy Cheeses"). the region's processed cheeses made with cow or goat's milk are equal renown. They come either flat or in a "büscion" (cone) shape, and are eaten fresh, sprinkled with ground pepper and extra virgin olive oil. Authentic goat's cheese is marked with a special "Capra Ticino" stamp. Another excelent cheese is Zincarlin, a fresh cheese with added salt and ground pepper; the Zincarlin della Val da Mücc, meanwhile, has a more intense flavour, having been left to mature for more than two months and treated with white wine in keeping with an ancient recipe.