This cheese, named after the town of Elva, is also known by the name of ‘Caso’, meaning ‘homemade’ in the Provençal dialect. Raw milk is heated to 30°C and liquid calf’s rennet is inoculated. It is left to coagulate for about one hour; the soft curd is then cut for the first time and allowed to set before it is cut up again, this time more finely into lumps about the size of a hazelnut. The curd is cut twice but not cooked, in this differing from Nostrale. It is then left to ripen for three days before transfer into moulds to be pressed for two days. The rounds are removed and salted in a brine bath for at least 24 hours. Maturing takes place in a natural environment with abundant native flora encouraging the growth of blue-green mould, reminiscent of a Castelmagno cheese. When Toma di Elva is consumed fresh, after maturing for one or two months, the flavour is similar to Bra or Nostrale. Its outer rind is rough, developing a brown colour with maturing, with a body porcelain-white, shading into brown in colour, sometimes dappled with bluish mould. The rounds have flat surfaces, 20 cm in diameter, are generally 15 cm high and weigh between 2 and 6 kg.
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 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.