Calcagno is produced by a number of small dairy farmers on the island of Sardenia. They allow their sheep to graze in the hills of the island, which ensures that the wild herbs and grasses are imparted into the cheese. The milk of the sheep is Thermized before the cheese-making process begins to kill the bad bacteria, while keeping the good. Fifteen days after the cheeses have been set in the moulds, the wheels are sent to the caves at Castelcivita to be aged by the Madaio family. Casa Madaio is an acclaimed cheese affineur (maturer) and producer located in Salerno, Italy. The family home, a castle with three towers, is reflected in Casa Madaio’s distinct logo. Mr. Madaio, the current owner of Casa Madaio, feels that the towers not only represent the home, but also the connection of the past with the future. To him, the towers symbolize his three children Angelo, Renata and David, and the future of Casa Madaio. At Casa Madaio, both cheese production and the cheese aging facility are small scale. The business is centered at two different locations. The cheese making facilities are in Eboli, along with the central office, while the aging caves are located at Castelcivita, in the heart of the The National Park of Cilento and Vallo of Diano. The area is steeped in history. The caves have been used to age cheeses by the Madaio family for four generations, and the company places great value on the preservation of the history and flavors of the land, working closely with local universities and with the Slow Food movement to further research. Their cheeses are primarily sold to small specialty shops and restaurants, both in Italy and abroad. Casa Madaio makes both fresh goat and buffalo milk cheeses at their location in Eboli. In addition, they also purchase cheeses made at small mountain dairies nearby that they age themselves at Castelcivita. Calcagno hails from the island of Sardinia, It is a firm sheep’s milk cheese that showcases what the harsh climate of the island can produce.
The flavors of the pale yellow paste are sweet and herbaceous, reflecting the herbs that the sheep have grazed on. Calcagno is aged for 1 to 2 years, which gives the paste a smooth, compact texture and a rind that has distinct markings.
Pair this cheese with crisp, dry red or white wines. It is best when eaten with crusty bread.