Mozzarella di Bufala (Casa Madaio)
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. Made from the milk of Water Buffalo raised on small farms on the border of the National Park of Cilento, this fresh cheese is hand-pulled and shaped into the traditional spherical shape as well as various other forms such as braided ropes. The aroma is of fresh milk and cream. Its texture is smooth with a snap when bitten into. Like all the best Mozzarella di Bufala, it has a clean, milky flavor. Since it is a DOP cheese, Casa Madaio’s version of Mozzarella di Bufala must be made with animal rennet. In order to conform to U.S. laws, the version in the United States is made using pasteurized milk. However, if you are able to taste the cheese in Italy, it will be made using raw milk. There are no less than eight different sizes of the Mozzarella produced by Casa Madaio, they range in weight from 30 grams (1 oz) for the “ciliegine” sized cheese to 1 kg (2.3 lbs) for “la zizza di Battipaglia” sized cheese.
Mozzarella di Bufala always pairs beautifully with fresh tomatoes with salt and pepper sprinkled on top, basil leaves and some fruity olive oil. Another traditional use is to serve it sliced with Prosciutto di Parma and fresh melon, or in baked dishes such as Eggplant Parmigiana. When served fresh, a light white wine such as Pinot Grigio is the best pairing. If used in rich baked dishes, a bold red wine such as a Super Tuscan is ideal.