There are many varieties of dairy cows inhabiting each region, and the difference in milk yield and ingredients between breeds gives each cow’s cheese its individuality. In order to have a cheese approved as a PDO (Protected Designation of Origin) cheese, it must be made with a specific breed of cow.
Washed-rind cheese are periodically treated (washed) with salty water, wine, beer or distilled liquor. This encourages the growth of brevibacterium linens on their surface. These cheeses have a strong and distinctive odor, while containing a mild flavor on the inside. The taste and smell of the cheese changes depending on the ingredients used to wash the surface, making it a type of cheese that brings out the individuality of the area it was made in.
Lombardy, with its many mountainous areas, produces relatively small size wash-rind cheeses that are suitable for cool climates. One of the area’s most renowned products is Taleggio, a cheese born in the Taleggio Valley around the 10th century. Moreover there is Gorgonzola, loved all over the world, as well as Stracchino, a cheese which name comes from the milk of "tired (Stracco)" cows as they descend from the mountains before winter.