Owned 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 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. Ficaccio is a cow and buffalo milk cheese that is wrapped in fig leaves collected by the employees of Casa Madaio each April. It is best paired with blonde beer or Falanghina white wine, a wine indigenous to the Campania region of Italy where the cheese is produced.
Under the fig leaves is a thin rind that is dappled with soft grey molds. The cheese is aged for between thirty and forty days in humid caves, which ensures that the cheese maintains a soft, silky texture. Ficaccio has an herbaceous aroma from the leaves mixed with damp cave scents. Its flavor is fresh with a touch of tartness.
Ficaccio is is delicious when eaten with fresh peaches or steamed in fig leaves with chicory and served sprinkled with black pepper.