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The Little Goat Cheese That Packs a Big Punch

Styled by Nina Gallant | Photographed by Madison Trapkin

Although best known for expertly crafting Taleggio, the master affineurs of Casearia Arnoldi Valtaleggio in Lombardia also craft small wheels of Capriolina, a creamy, funky pasteurized goat’s milk round brimming with personality. “Our goal was to create a small-format cheese that hasn’t been handled or cut, going right to the end user,” says Luca Arnoldi, Director of Quality Control, third-generation maker, and 30-year veteran of the company.

Casearia Arnoldi’s deep history began over two centuries ago, with a few cows and Matteo & Caterina Arnoldi’s entrepreneurial spirit. Originally focused on their flagship Taleggio, the cheesemakers now tout an expanded lineup of over 30 types of cheese, concentrating on terroir and family traditions. Currently, 11 partners—all related—preside over the business, creating new cheeses and perfecting techniques alongside future generations of cheesemakers. “My children, Francesca and Davide, are already on their way and working part time,” says Luca.

Capriolina begins by adding Penicillium candidum (camemberti) and a strong strain of calf’s rennet to pasteurized goat’s milk. After about 25 minutes, the curds is cut and immediately poured into molds, then drained of whey. Not yet compact, the wheels are transferred to a hot room, continually flipped for about 5 hours, then moved again to a much cooler room dedicated solely to P. candidum cheeses. Throughout the remainder of the aging process, the rind is washed weekly in salted brine (specific ingredients are a family secret), and the wheels are aged for at least one month. The result is a semi-acidic, buttery flavor and slightly pudgy texture. Luca explains, “At the end of the aging, the cheese gets put into a polythene-coated paper that keeps the rind moist, so the product is creamy and flavorful.” Then the cheese is shipped globally, exclusively imported and distributed in the US by Forever Cheese.

Luca suggests pairing Capriolina, a bright addition to a spring cheese plate, with medium-structured white or red wines with minimal tannins such as Trebbiano, Chardonnay, Dolcetto, or Pinot Noir. And the sweetness of acacia or orange blossom honey, tomato jam, blood orange preserves, or strawberry balsamic compote will cut its funk. Just remember to keep it simple—this charismatic cheese shouldn’t share the spotlight.


Mallory Scyphers

Mallory Scyphers is culture's Executive Content Director and has been with the company since 2019. She lives on Mobile Bay with her husband, two young daughters, one old Shetland Sheepdog, one rambunctious golden retriever, and one calico cat. Her favorite cheeses are alpine styles and mineral-y blues.

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