Salignùn is a mix of ricotta or fresh tomette, with spices added to give the product an intense and pungent flavor. A spicy product is achieved by combining the cheese with salt, oil, chili powder, garlic, juniper, fennel, cumin or other dried herbs and flowers to increase the aroma, until a homogenous mix is achieved. The cheese takes on the color of the spices and herbs added, and usually has a pinkish hue. The cheese has no rind and has a fine, compact and translucent body that is punctuated by the various spices added. While many cheeses are enjoyed at the end of a meal, Salignùn is usually served as an antipasto or, as tradition dictates, used to fill the local miasse – thin and crispy pastries made from corn flour cooked on iron plates over the fire. A typical cheese from the Walser tradition, in the past Salignùn was made by kneading ricotta, to utilize the residual whey from cheese production, or with fresh tomette. In the Dora Baltea Valley in northern Italy, it is said that the towns situated on the mountainside to the right of Dora traditionally used tomette to prepare Salignùn, while villages on the left hand side used ricotta. Salt, chili, cumin and other spices are added according to the family recipe. Any leftovers from Salignùn production are used to make a cheese that is smoked above the chimney hood, and then matured for several months and used grated. Salignùn is at risk of disappearing because of its unusual flavor and because it is a niche production. There are no longer many producers and the recipe is handed down orally from father to son.
The traditional products, local breeds, and know-how collected by the Ark of Taste belong to the communities that have preserved them over time. They have been shared and described here thanks to the efforts of the network that that Slow Food has developed around the world, with the objective of preserving them and raising awareness. The text from these descriptions may be used, without modifications and citing the source, for non-commercial purposes in line with the Slow Food philosophy.