Cheese of the month September 2016: Castelmagno from Piemont

This a monthly series which I have been publishing for years. You can subscribe here, to get the latest cheese delivered directly on to your screen. 

Even if the sun still has a real burn, September sounds like autumn to me, sounds like a certain golden glow, a quietness in the air… and it sounds like squash! And such a bright orange squash calls out for risotto. Which finally brings us to cheese: Castelmagno, that cave ripened, ancient original from the Piemontese Alps. The rind mite-eaten and wild even in its quarky, tangy youth, earthy, cow-milk-grass-rich underneath that liveliness, melting on the palate in spite of the crumbliness…

Castelmagno ganz

Yes, autumn makes my mind wander. Which after all is the best method to wrap it around the sensual depth of a cheese, a wine (and so much else).

Castelmagno Effilee

I have been writing elsewhere about how downright fantastic Castelmagno works in risotto made with squash (years ago in Effilee, very soon in the next issue of Vinum) – I urge you to give it a try. It took me quite a while to understand this traditional cheese (13th century!) and I first had to encounter a thoroughly mature version – but now we truly, deeply love each other.

Unfortunately we don’t see much of each other. Heartfelt Heinzelcheese thanks therefore to Zürich’s cheesemongers where I found a piece of Piemont (besides lots of great Swiss stuff) at Tritt in the Markthalle am Viadukt.

Castelmagno Tritt

Even as young as that Castelmagno for me is a true formaggio da meditazione, a cheese that gives you lots to think about and encourages your mind to wander. A mature wheel made the traditional way high up in the mountains can come with natural blue veins, expanding the story it tells you to a whole novel.

Its making is complex too: the curd is cut quite small, drained overnight, then cut into slices and left to acidify immersed in whey for two or three days. It is then chopped up again, salted and pressed into moulds. Altogether this process has a lot of similarities with Cheddar and the traditional dale cheeses from Yorkshire, also crumbly.

I like autumn.

This a monthly series which I have been publishing for years. You can subscribe here, to get the latest cheese delivered directly on to your screen. 

If you enjoyed reading this, you might consider clicking on the button below and supporting me in my work. I’d be more than happy. Thank you.

Support me via Steady

Schreibe einen Kommentar

Deine E-Mail-Adresse wird nicht veröffentlicht. Erforderliche Felder sind mit * markiert.

Diese Website verwendet Akismet, um Spam zu reduzieren. Erfahre mehr darüber, wie deine Kommentardaten verarbeitet werden.