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From the slopes of the mountain to the table

Old-fashioned flavors are enjoyed on Mount Faldo

Local flavors
Local flavors

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Where is


36070 Nogarole Vicentino VI, Italia (526m s.l.m.)


There is a place in the province of Vicenza that promises its visitors pleasant walks immersed in nature. The good thing is that it is located among a handful of lively municipalities: Selva di Trissino, Nogarole Vicentino, Brogliano, Valdagno and Cornedo Vicentino. It is Mount Faldo, the first relief of the Lessinea ridge that divides the Chiampo Valley from the Alpone Valley. Climbing its slopes is an experience of light and shadow, alternating as the wide, sunny meadows and the woods protected by the foliage of the trees. Along the way, dark rocks emerge from the ground that tell us of the volcanic origin of this mountain. A fertile and generous soil then, so much so that relaxing walks are not its only gift to the people and visitors...

In fact, the volcanic soil has found a particularly favorable location here for one crop in particular: the potato. At the confluence of two valleys, the winds that come down from the Little Dolomites, and the good summer rains are a boon to the crops. In addition, the temperature range that occurs between day and night favors the preservation of starch and hinders the accumulation of water, a characteristic that is inevitable in quality potatoes. The result is an unmistakable product, so much so that it has earned the De.Co. designation. The geographical origin, of course, must coincide with the territory of the five municipalities that share Mount Faldo and its riches. De.Co. recognition is in fact a project carried out by all of them, in a spirit of strong cohesion and foresight.

01-patataPotato plant in bloom

If it is easy to understand how the composition of the soil influences the characteristics of Mount Faldo Potatoes, more reasoning is needed to understand how another product shared by several municipalities in the area constitutes another gift of the mountain to the people who live on its territory. Or perhaps it is not even that difficult. After all, a valuable clue is right under our noses when we walk the Faldo trails: these are the pastures devoted primarily to the dairy cows of local families. In some places we can still see the casoni, real high-altitude barns that served as shelter for the cattle.

02-casoneOne of the casoni found on Mount Faldo

The quality of the grass and hay they feed on gives their milk special aromatic notes that are also maintained in the cheeses and dairy products thanks to raw milk processing. This means that the milk is heated just enough to obtain rennet, but is not subjected to pasteurization. The result is a product with a clearly recognizable flavor that carries with it remnants of the scents and flavors of Mount Faldo. Some may have doubts because of the lack of pasteurization. Therefore, know that the processing of Faldo cheeses follows cheesemaking techniques handed down from generation to generation that allow the aging process to be kept under strict control, protecting it from any abnormal fermentation. Cheese tasting will therefore be a dip into the past, with the authentic taste of rural communities of yesteryear.

And just as it used to happen in the past, The breeding, processing and transmission of knowledge take place on family farms. Today only the dairy in Nogarole Vicentino remains active, but in the past there were several, distributed among the districts. They were called casare and collected milk from the different farmers in the area. In the register of the casara, the exact amount of milk poured was carefully recorded, so that the finished products could be redistributed in the right proportions according to everyone's contribution. A story then, not only family but also community history, which adds a note of nostalgic sweetness to the tasting of today's cheeses.

03-formaggioMount Faldo De.Co. cheese

The familial and convivial character of cheese making is also found in potato farming, and in both cases it manifests itself forcefully at festivals dedicated respectively to cheese and potatoes or, to be more precise, to a dish of which they are the basis. So here we have the "Festa del Gnocco" celebrated on the first two weekends of September in Selva di Trissino, while in May the "Festa del Formaggio" is held in Nogarole Vicentino. In both cases, the occasion, it really has to be said, is a mouthwatering one, because you can taste local goodness in a joyful atmosphere, accompanied by musical performances, entertainment, games and the chance to reconcile your appetite with walks.

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Recommended by
Enrico Corato

The De.Co. Potato "Monte Faldo" is a project to promote a typical local product of great quality: the potatoes that are grown in the volcanic soils of Monte Faldo. And I guarantee that after trying them, you will not be able to do without them.

Narrated by
Comune di Nogarole Vicentino