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Calcagno (Italian Pasteurized Sheep's Milk Cheese)

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Calcagno is a hand-made sheep's milk cheese made from the milk of ewes that are sotto cielo (under the sky), and grazing on pasture. This cheese is made in a grana style in Sardinia, and is aged for about 12 months in the cool caves of Casa Madaio in the Campania region of Italy.

Photo by Suzie Yates.

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Region Sardinia
Country of Origin Italy
Producer Casa Madaio
Cheese Type Hard
Type of Milk Sheep
Flavor Profile Strong
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Casa Madaio

Casa Madaio is a fourth generation cheesemaker and affineur located in the National Park of Cilento, about two hours drive south of the city of Salerno in Italy's Campania region. Casa Madaio makes some of their cheeses from local milk, and they also bring cheeses across the Tyrrhenian Sea from Sardinia, to age in their cellars. Casa Madaio's logo is a tower with three battlements, representing the most recent three generations of the Madaio family: Antonio, Angelo and Davide.

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Serving and Caring for your cheese

Caring for Your Cheese

How much cheese should I buy?

We advise buying small quantities more frequently to avoid long term storage because the complex flavors and aromas of good cheese will change and degrade over time. For appetizer quantities and not much left over, we suggest 1/4 lb per person. For larger servings or if you'd like some left overs, we suggest a full 1/2 lb per person.

How should I serve my cheese?

You can serve any number of cheeses: a single magnificent chèvre or a large selection celebrating the diversity of aromas, flavors and textures found in various traditions around the world. Choose what you like and what you expect your audience will enjoy. We usually go for a selection of three to four cheeses with various milk types, textures and flavors.

Take your cheese out of the refrigerator an hour or so before serving. Just before serving, unwrap each cheese and scrape the cut surface with a knife edge to remove a thin layer. If you notice dried out parts or mold on the face of the cheese, cut it away.

Can I eat the rind?

Most cheeses have rinds and most rinds are edible. If you don’t like the taste or texture, cut it off.

What do I do about the mold on my cheese?

Cheese stored for some time may grow exterior molds. Typical molds will be white or blue-green but you can sometimes come across yellow or gray. Most of the time, you can refresh the cheese by cutting away those affected areas. The cheese underneath will be fine.

How do I store my cheese?

Store in a higher humidity area of your refrigerator - likely an enclosed spot which allows for limited airflow rather than constant drafts.

How do I wrap my cheese?

Use a clean wrap of the cheese paper, or, in a pinch use parchment (for softer cheeses) or aluminum foil (for firm to hard cheeses).


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