The name Brigasca/Briga comes from La Brigue, a French town in the Val Roya known for being the most important sheep-breeding centre in the whole border area between Liguria, Piedmont and Provence.
In males, the Brigasca sheep has spiral horns facing backwards. It is a hardy animal, suitable for grazing in inaccessible areas. Traditional farming includes a period of seven to eight months on mountain pastures and about four months in the bandìa, the coastal area where the mild climate allows to keep them grazing outdoors even in the winter months. The Sora and Toma cheeses are produced with its milk, still with the techniques and tools bound to the millenary tradition of transhumance. The Sora is produced exclusively with sheep’s milk from the evening milking added to that of the morning. The milk is heated to 34°C and then the liquid rennet is added; after coagulation, the curd is broken and left to settle and then collected with a rough cloth (raireura). With this cloth a sort of bundle is formed, on which a large stone is placed. After about 12 hours, the mass is removed from the cloth and cut into symmetrical parts. After 15 days of maturation, the cheeses are washed with running water, dried and left to ripen in a cool place for a minimum of 60 days, on wooden boards. The Toma production technique differs from that of the Sora only because of the possible addition of goat milk, the use of moulds for shaping them and the shorter ageing periods. It is produced throughout the year, with a prevalence in the period from January to October.