Castelmagno has a rustic looking rind with a beautiful ivory interior. The paste is dense and crumbly. It is milder when young, but develops some spice as it ages. The cheese is wonderful paired with stronger honeys such as chestnut or melata, and it is also perfect for use in the kitchen.
Castelmagno is named for the municipality that it comes from, and represents centuries of cheesemaking tradition high in the mountains of Piedmont. Documentation dates it to at least 1277: a mandate exists in which the Marquis of Saluzzo required local farmers to pay for the privilege of working his lands -- with wheels of Castelmagno.
This cheese is made with the milk of Piemontese cows in two consecutive milkings. The curds are drained for 1-2 days before being packed into cheese molds. Removed from their molds after six days, each wheel is subsequently dry-salted for two days. This can continue for up to a month at which time the wheels of Castelmagno are left to age in naturally cool and damp caves.
As the cheese ages, it develops various molds on the rind as well as some blue veining into the paste of the cheese. For this reason, Castelmagno has also been classified as a blue cheese. Castelmagno was awarded DOP status in 1996.