PRODUCTION FEAUTURES OF THE CASTELMAGNO
The milk is obtained from two milkings per day.
The coagulation is carried out on raw milk heated in steel or copper boilers up to 30-38° using liquid rennet. The curd is then broken, left to rest under whey and finally extracted and put in cloths where it is left to drain for about 24 hours.
At the end of this period, the curd is cut into slices and immersed in steel or plastic tanks containing whey from the day’s processing. In this serum the curd is left for 2 or 3 days, after which it is extracted and finely chopped. The mince is then salted with coarse salt, compressed into steel or plastic strips and pressed for 24-48 hours.
The application of the origin mark is imprinted on the cheese.
The seasoning is carried out in natural rooms or in fresh and humid cells and lasts for at least two months.
THE BEST PAIRINGS
As our famous writer Mario Soldati said, in life all You need is “a slice of Castelmagno, a loaf of rye bread and a glass of full-bodied wine, nothing else”.
Castelmagno is also perfect with a drizzle of honey or extra virgin olive oil.
In the kitchen it goes very well with rice and with potatoes; gnocchi al Castelmagno, a recipe that is attributed to Veronelli himself. The fondue, with a strong flavor, goes well with wheat or buckwheat crespelle.
The best match is with local red wines, because the organoleptic characteristics of Castelmagno and its ability to dry the palate combine perfectly with the tannins and acidic components of Piedmontese reds.
- For the young Castelmagno (two or three months of aging), the wines must be fresh, scented with flowers. Excellent with a Ruchè di Castagnole Monferrato, a Barbera d’Asti or a Nebbiolo d’Alba.
- For the medium-aged Castelmagno (4 or 6 months up to 12 months), the wines must be full-bodied, medium-aged, with intense aromas, like Nizza.
- For the 36 months, the great wines of the Langhe such as Barolo, Barbaresco, but also Roero and Nebbiolo of Upper Piedmont are ideal.
The origin of Castelmagno is very ancient: perhaps a little later if not contemporary to Gorgonzola, which was already known in 1100.
Its name comes from the ancient sanctuary of San Magno, martyr protector of cattle and pastures, a structure built from an ancient temple on Mars that dominates the ancient village from its 1800 meters.
Because of its noble flavor, Castelmagno has always enjoyed a huge celebrity. In 1277 the Marquis of Saluzzo sued the town of Castelmagno, accusing it of having sent cows to graze on its meadows. The sentence gives reason to the Marquis, who does not ask for money, but an annual supply of the precious cheese.
In the nineteenth century Castelmagno lives its golden age by making an appearance in the most exclusive restaurants in London and Paris, but the two world wars turned the Alps into a theater of bayonets and cannons, then in the 60s, the depopulation of the mountains for the search of work in the factory made Castelmagno almost forgotten.
The recovery takes place in the 80s, also thanks to the commitment and passion of the gastronome Luigi Veronelli. In 1996 he obtained the recognition from Europe as a protected designation of origin (PDO) product.