Bagolino, an enchanting small mountain village at the foot of Mount Maniva and close to Lake Idro, produces a genuine local delicacy, well-known also outside of Italy. It’s Bagòss, the local cheese whose longstanding production is characterized by pureness and attention to detail.
Bagòss is produced in 28 small local dairy farms following an extremely old traditional ritual to which the whole family of the farmer participates with camaraderie and passion.
This exclusive Bagolino excellence is in high demand in several countries worldwide, from Japan to the United States, from England to Germany.
The shape is a cylinder with a diameter between cm 40 and 55. The maximum weight is about kg 20. Bagòss is a hard cheese and has the intense taste of seasoned cheeses, enhanced by the addition of saffron. It needs at least 12 months of aging; after one year, Bagòss is ready to be served on the table alone or as an ingredient for pasta, meat, fish, egg, potato, and even pizza dishes. Extra-aged Bagòss is also excellent as grated cheese.
The milk used to produce Bagòss comes from Braunvieh cows, exclusively raised in Bagolino and fed with local hay. In the summer, they are taken to pastures up in the mountains, while they spend wintertime in cowsheds at the bottom of the valley. The arrival of the cows back to Bagolino is celebrated with the Transhumance Festival, held every year around mid-October. It represents an important folkloric and gastronomic event which highlights the old local customs. The festival lasts 2 days (Saturday and Sunday) and attracts children and grown-ups who celebrate the return of the cows to the cowsheds accompanying their passage by cheering, playing music, and singing.
The best way to taste Bagòss is by going to Bagolino: during the winter, you can take this opportunity to go ski on Mounts Maniva and Gaver; in the summer, several tourists hike along the numerous paths in the area visiting mountain huts and buying the cheese directly. Another ideal moment to taste Bagòss, other than during the Transhumance Festival, is the famous Bagolino Carnival.