In accordance with the strict production guidelines of this highly appreciated cheese, the milk used to produce Castelmagno PDO (Protected Denomination of Origin) must come from and be produced in the Castelmagno, Pradleves and Monterosso Grana areas, in the province of Cuneo, Piemonte.
The product is cylindrical in shape, with flat sides, a diameter of 15-25cm and a rim of approximately 12-20cm. The weight varies from 2 to 7 kg. The cheese has a thin, smooth, inedible crust that becomes thicker and wrinklier as the cheese ripens. The rind starts out yellowy-red in colour, gradually turning grey with age. The paste of the cheese initially has a crumbly texture that gradually becomes harder as it matures. The paste tends towards a pearly-white or ivory colour, gradually turning to a shade of yellow-ochre. As it ripens, blue-green veins may also appear, an affect created by piercing the forms by hand with long shackles.
Flavour: before the cheese ripens, it has a delicate, slightly salty flavour that becomes stronger with age (at least 60 days). Castelmagno PDO also bears a blue label with the words ‘Prodotto della montagna’ (Mountain product), when it is produced in mountainous regions, and a green ‘di Alpeggio’ label, which means it comes from alpine pastures that are located at an altitude of 100 metres above sea level.