Castelmagno DOP is a blue cheese of such high quality, that it often known as the "King of cheese". It is made in only three municipalities in Valle Grana in the province of Cuneo. This a wonderful area form a naturalistic point of view, featuring a rich and varied landscape: from the rich palin of the valley, to the narrow canyons where streams run, to the majestic high pastures reachable only with ancients trails and mule tracks. Animals graze plenty of rich, aromatic weeds, and the scents and flavours are found in in the cheeses, making them excellent.
The origin of Castelmagno dates back a long time: it was known in 1100 and many legends revolve around it, like the one telling how Charlemagne liked it. In the 1800s this cheese reached a great fame and it was sought after by the most famous London and Paris restaurants. A period of decline followed, caused by the wars and the depopulation of the mountain lands in the 60s; luckily, the importance of this cheese was understood once again and investing in production was resumed, saving him from disappearance.
Castelmagno DOP is made with cow milk, with a possible addition of sheep or goat milk to a maximum of 20%. Aging is done in caves of in fresh and humid rooms, and it lasts fron two to five months.
The paste is crumbly, ivory white at the beginning of aging, and it goes yellow over time with blue-green veins caused by peculiar molds.
The flavor is delicate in the beginning and it becomes strong and piquant as the aging proceeds.
Castelmagno can boast the label "Prodotto della montagna" (Mountain product) is it is made in mountain areas. If it is made over 1000 m, it can be labeled "di Alpeggio" (fron Mountain pasture).
It is used for many dishes in the Piemonte cuisine, first among them the gnocchi di patate, polenta and risotto. It is fantastic by itself or contrasted with honey. It is part of a rustic dish called Brus: it is a spreadable cream made with fermented cheese remains.