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‘Sola’ (also Sora or Soela) in Piedmont dialect means ‘shoe sole’ to which this square, squat cheese is jokingly compared. It is produced in a similar manner as Raschera which is evident in the “brand” created by the cheese cloth in which the young curds are drained. Sola can be distinguished by its smaller size and the use of full fat instead of skimmed milk.

Sola is a typical mountain cheese, which is especially good in summer. Its origins are lost but is mentioned by historian Tullio Pagliana in a study of the lives of shepherds in the Upper Val Tanaro.

The cheese itself is made with raw milk heated to 30-36˚ and coagulated with liquid rennet. After the soft curd is broken up it is wrapped in cloth to drain the whey. When dry it is kneaded and placed in molds before being pressed. The subsequent stages involve dry salting and then maturing. The imprint of the cloth in which the young cheeses are wrapped is still apparent on the rind. Once aged, the cheese takes on a complex lactic sweet-sour flavor and seductive semi-smooth texture.

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