Castelmagno is a PDO (Protected Designation of Origin) awarded Italian semi-hard, semi-fat blue cheese prepared within the administrative region of the communes of Castelmagno, Pradleves and Monterosso Grana in the province of Cuneo, Piedmont.
The cylindrical cheese is made from cow's milk with a small addition of a mixture of sheep and/or goat's milk. To guarantee the authenticity of the product, it is essential that the milk utilized come from communes protected by PDO designation. The aging takes two to five months to get the characteristic traditional flavour.
It is a dense cheese with no open holes tending towards a grainier, crumbly texture. The pate color leans from ivory white towards ochre-yellow with presence of bluish-green veins of penicillium moulds. Covering the pate is a thin reddish-yellow rind, which turns wrinkly, and brownish-ochre as the cheese matures. The subtle taste of Castelmagno gets stronger, spicier and sharper as it ages.
Castelmagno is a very ancient cheese with origins dating back to 1277, more or less at the same time as Gorgonzola. It is named after a Roman soldier whom despite being persecuted, kept on preaching gospels and gave its name to the famous sanctuary town of Castelmagno in Grana Valley. Barolo, Reciota della Valpolicella, Chianti pair well with this cheese. It is appreciated as a table cheese and used in the preparation of typical Italian dishes such as gnocchi.
Other Italian cheeses: