A cheese similar to Formai del Mut from Lombardy. It is a semi-cooked cheese, made with cows' milk that is either whole or partially skimmed. Historically goats' or sheeps' milk were also added. It is usually aged 2-3 months, but sometimes up to 7 months. The cuts range from 8-9 cm and are straight or a little curved. It weighs from 20-24 pounds. Branzi comes from the Emmenthal Swiss cheese family and maintains similar characteristics as some Alpine cheeses. This cheese comes from Val Brembana in Italy at the top of Alpine mountains where the Brembo river meets mountain streams. The production of the cheese mixes the old artisan traditions of raising the livestock and making the cheese along with high tech equipment. During aging it develops a texture that has many small holes surrounded by a semi-firm paste which becomes firmer as it matures. This mountain cheese is often served with polenta and mushrooms for a savory vegetable and cheese dish. Branzi is easily melted and has a mild nutty flavor when used as an appetzier or snacking cheese, or when used in baked foods.