Toma di Lanzo is a medium-aged soft or semi-hard cheese made with raw cow's milk which may be whole or partially skimmed by the float-creaming method. It is cylindrical in shape with flat upper and lower surfaces and a straight or slightly convex lateral rind.
Dimensions: Weight 3-7 kg, height 5-15 cm, diameter 20-40 cm.
Rind: Smooth and pale yellow or greyish in colour. It may have a depression on one face which is typical and caused by the traditional shaping technique carried out with a natural fibre cloth without using a cheese mould.
Texture: Between soft and semi-hard, pale yellow in colour with small and uniformly distributed hole structure.
Flavour: Characteristic aroma which is delicate and balanced, varies according to seasonal varieties of forage plants, becoming more intense and fragrant as the cheese ages.
Preparation of milk: Raw whole cow's milk is used. Milk from the evening is left to float-cream in basins overnight, then this partially skimmed milk is added to freshly obtained whole milk the following morning. There is also a version of this cheese made entirely with whole milk.
Coagulation: Milk temperature is around 35–37 °C for about 1 hour. Animal rennet is used, which may be in liquid or powder form.
Cheese vat processing: The curds are milled into pieces the size of rice grains or corn kernels. The milling process may be carried out at intervals with brief rest phases in-between. The curds and whey may be heated to a maximum temperature of 42 °C.
Further processing: The cheese may be shaped in moulds, with or without cloths, or by the traditional technique which uses only a natural fibre cloth and no cheese mould.
The shaped cheeses may be pressed to facilitate drainage and compact the curds. Salting takes place by the dry salting method (one day per face) or by brining.
Aging process: The cheeses are aged in cellars, or other premises with geologically natural ceilings, walls and floors, or other suitable premises. The cheeses age on wooden boards for a minimum of 15 days for smaller cheeses and 60 days for larger cheeses.