Food & Wine

A Guide to Accasciato

There are many varieties of cheeses, but there are even more lesser-known varieties of cheeses found in different regions of the world. If you’re looking for a rare type of real Italian cheese, you can get to know accasciato.

What is Accasciato Cheese?

Accasciato is a rich, creamy and luscious cheese made from the mixture of the milk of the buffalos and cows that graze on the coastal marshes of Tuscany. It’s a rare type of cheese that is soft and creamy, and is made by a Casa Madaio dairy farm in Campania, Italy.

The word “accasciato” means “collapsed” or “slumped,” because it crumbles once it gets removed from its molds. This cheese is used to be known as “a cheese in a plate” of the Garfagnana shepherds in Tuscany. It was called that way because it has to be eaten on a plate from which it took its form.

How is Accasciato Cheese Made?

The fresh milk from cows and buffalos are coagulated, then drained. The mixture is typically matured anywhere from 40 to 60 days, depending on the season. During maturation, the cheese develops a soft, pale, yellow rind with white, opaque paste inside.

Sometimes, accasciato cheese is cave-aged in the limestone caves in Casa Madaio.

This cheese is best produced from January to late spring, while it’s made mostly from cows’ milk during the summer.

Accasciato Flavor and Texture

The cheese comes with a fresh, sweet aroma and a firm texture. Depending on how it’s aged, this cheese’s color can range from cream to darkened yellow. Its flavor can range from mild to complex, but generally, accasciato cheese has a soft and creamy mouthfeel.

Accasciato cheese comes in two varieties. One is mild, and semi-soft, and a bit similar to mozzarella. The second variety comes as a cave-aged, firm cheese with streaks of good molds and cracks – featuring the richness of buffalo milk mixed with the spice taste acquired from the limestone cave.

This cheese pairs well with Tuscan red wines and sweet fruits like grapes and figs. It’s also delicious when grated and melted into a casserole or gratin.

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