Monte Veronese has a truly ancient tradition in cheese making.
Historical references indicate that production began in 1200 with the arrival of the Cimbrians, a German population of that came down in search of fertile plains for their livestock; they found the perfect place in the Lessinia mountains, which at that time was a large uninhabited area that local shepherds used for the grazing of their herds of goats and sheep. Thanks to a bishop’s concession, this population was given permission to use all the resources that this land could offered until 1689.
There is also a second theory on the creation of this mountain cheese, which dates back to a more recent period. Documents reported by Varanini in the book “gli alti pascoli dei Lessini Veronesi” (the mountain pastures of Lessini) dating back to the XIII century, refer to a cheese with a strong resemblance but was never identified by the name Monte Veronese. With the fall of the Della Scala family around 1400 and the subsequent difficult economic conditions, there was a great deal of immigration towards the province of Verona; cheeses coming from the Bergamo, Brescia, Valtellina and Milan valleys all meet in this area. According to this theory, it was the Lombardy people who created the foundations for the development of the cow cheese in Lessinia.
Despite its ancient history, the cheese only assumed its final name of “Monte Veronese” at the beginning of the 18th century, with clear and specific reference to the production province. However, don’t let the word “Monte” deceive you: it does not refer to the territory’s mountain ranges, but is a modification of the Italian word monta, which means “mungitura” or milking. In fact, the cheese is made using a technique that involves the curdling of milk from more than one milking.
This product was awarded the PDO (Protected Designation of Origin) status in 1996.