In the Veneto region, the appellation "imbriago" is reserved not only for those who indulge too much in wine, but also for the cheese that by deep-rooted tradition is aged in the marc resulting from the pressing of grapes. The Trevigiano area is believed to be the land of origin of this product, which dates back to the time of World War I: according to some, the origin was an attempt to hide the precious wheels from the Austro-Hungarian raid; according to others, it was to make up for the temporary shortage of linseed oil for surface treatment of the rind.
The cheese remains in contact with the marc-mostly red-for up to a month and gains in color especially in the undercrust and more widely in aroma. In recent years producers have then differentiated the maturation by individual grape variety (Cabernet, Merlot, Raboso) while also resorting to white varieties (Prosecco, Verduzzo). The result is a tasting product, no more and no less than is the case with the named wines.
The typicality of this product thus lies more in the maturation than in the cheese used, which can indifferently be an Asiago or a Montasio, not to mention the many local medium-aged cheeses: what makes the difference is precisely the pomace, which can also be Clinto or Fragolino, two wines of ancient peasant tradition, both of unmistakable aroma, which today are produced only at the family level.
By virtue of necessity
In October 1917 the Italian army was taken by surprise by the Austrian offensive that led to the defeat of Caporetto and the precipitous retreat to the Piave River line. The territories east of the river would remain in enemy hands for an entire year, exposing the local populations to painful coexistence with the occupying troops. Between history and legend, it will be this state of affairs that will inspire the expedient of hiding the cheese under the piles of residual marc from the recent harvest.
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