OUR CHEESES HAVE AN EXTRA INGREDIENT.
Our products are steeped in our love of our territory and our family passion for what we do
As Italo Calvino wrote, "behind every cheese there is a pasture of a different green under a different sky. There are different flocks, with their stablings and their transhumances; there are secret processes handed down over the centuries." Our cheeses strongly reflect the excellent quality of the raw materials we use for their production, and our production methods, still strongly inspired by hand-making methods.
Therefore, the whole of our production chain is controlled and guaranteed, from the choice of milk suppliers to the type of rennet, through to the natural flavourings used in production. However, the real secret of our process, handed down from generation to generation in the Casula family, is the authentic passion and love we put into our daily work.
The milk, which we collect fresh three times a week directly from farms in the Pesaro and Urbino areas, is first pasteurised at a temperature of about 73°. In the next stage, the milk is transferred to a special vat, known as a "polivalente", at a temperature of about 35-40°. The enzymes and rennet are added to start the curd formation process. After a short wait (once optimal curd formation has occurred), the cheese-maker breaks up the curd into small pieces the size of a hazelnut. The liquid whey is removed from the rest of the mixture.
The curds left in the vat are then transferred to moulds to shape them into cheese. The cheese is then turned to shape its "face", before being transferred to a warm chamber at a temperature of about 35/37°. When the optimal pH is reached, the cheese is removed from the chamber and dry-coated with salt by hand, first in the morning and then in the evening. We leave the cheese to stand overnight and the next day it is removed from the salt and transferred to the ripening chambers to be aged to the optimal ripeness, which depends on the type of cheese, prior to sale.
WWe use the whey, the residue from cheese production, to make ricotta. After adding fresh milk, we heat the whey to 85°C and then add salt. A chemical reaction now takes place, separating the solids from the liquids, and the ricotta floats to the surface. After standing for a few minutes, the ricotta is collected in the special perforated "fuscelle" baskets and transferred to a chiller.
The whey is then recovered and sold to livestock farms, which use it as a dietary supplement. Many processing phases, such as salting, the breaking up of the curd and other steps, are performed by hand by our skilled cheese-makers, in keeping with the tradition of craftsmanship for which the Casula family has always been famous. Some cheese types require an additional ageing process, which may take place in different conditions and locations depending on the product's variety.
For example, 'Formaggio di Fossa di Sogliano PDO' is ripened for an initial period of 60 days, after which the cheeses are placed in canvas bags and aged in the old medieval pits at Sogliano al Rubicone for a period of about three months. Our pits, dug into the tuff rock, are lined with straw and wooden planks are placed on the bottom to separate the cheese from the fats which seep out during fermentation.
The pits are then filled with canvas bags each containing 6/7 cheeses without leaving any gaps, after which they are sealed. This creates unique conditions with a high moisture level, no oxygen and special temperatures, in which the cheese undergoes a secondary fermentation to give the finished product distinctive, inimitable fragrances and flavours.