Castelmagno PDO is a semi-hard cheese produced using raw whole cow’s milk from cows fed on fresh or dry fodder from the production area,
with a small amount of semi-skimmed sheep or goat’s milk (5-20%).
The cattle breeds used for the production of the milk must be retraceable to the Barà Pustertaler, Bruna, Pezzata Rossa d’Oropa, Pezzata Rossa, Montbeillard, Grigio Alpina,
Piemontese and Valdostana breeds and their cross-breeds. The milk is brought to 30-38°C and then curdled with liquid calf rennet.
The curd is broken, left to settle and then left to rest for at least 18 hours. It is transferred into special recipients and immersed
in the whey obtained from the previous process in order to complete fermentation; it is left for 2-4 days. The curd is then broken again, chopped finely,
remixed and salted before being wrapped in a cloth and put in molds for at least one day; the forms are pressed by hand or mechanically.
Further dry-salting of the forms is permitted. Ripening must take place in a cool and humid environment. During ripening, which lasts at least 60 days,
the cheeses are stored on a wooden shelf and are periodically washed and turned.
Castelmagno PDO can display the words “Prodotto della Montagna” (Mountain Product) if the cheese is obtained from cows that are pasture-grazed at an
altitude of between 650 and 1000 m.a.s.l.; if at least 90% of the cattle’s diet is made up of pasture eaten at an altitude of above 1000 metres, only in the Summer, the label can indicate “Di Alpeggio” (Alpine).
Apparence and flavour
Castelmagno PDO has a cylindrical form, with a diameter of 15-25 cm, an edge height of 12-20 cm and a weight of between 2 and 7 kg.
The rind is thin and smooth with a reddish-yellow colour in the fresh cheese and a wrinkly appearance in more mature cheese.
The cheese is very crumbly and without eyes, ranging from ivory white to yellow-ochre in colour and displaying visible bluish-green veins (marbling) in the more mature cheese.
If only slightly ripened, the flavour is delicate; the very mature variety is full and piquant.
Castelmagno PDO should be preserved in a cool environment, or in the least cold compartment of the fridge, wrapped in its original packaging.
It can be eaten as a table cheese or used as an ingredient in many recipes. It is ideal for the preparation of pasta, rice, polenta and gnocchi dishes, but is also the perfect accompaniment to beef Carpaccio.
It is delicious with sweet products like honey or jam and is best served with full-bodied red wines.
The product is marketed as Castelmagno PDO, with the possible addition of “Prodotto della Montagna” or “Di Alpeggio”.
It is sold whole, in large pieces and in pre-packed slices. The product logo must be embossed on the form during the shaping process.
The erborinatura (marbling), a term derived from the Lombard dialect word erborin, meaning parsley, develops naturally in
Castelmagno PDO cheese during the ripening process, without the need to inoculate the cheese with specific moulds.
According to tradition, Castelmagno PDO, which was born from the creativity of shepherds in Alta Valle Grana, has
extremely ancient origins: the first forms were already being produced in the XII century.
This cheese has been rediscovered at national and international level, thanks to the rationalisation and standardisation of the artisan production techniques.
The production area of Castelmagno PDO is within the municipal areas of Castelmagno, Pradleves and Monterosso Grana in the Province of Cuneo, in the Piedmont region.