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. Infossato is an sheep’s milk cheese with ancient origins. Cheeses are placed in pits dug into the ground that are lined with herbs and leaves such as ferns for one year. The ferns and leaves protect the wheels as well as creating an optimum environment for maturation. In addition, the leaves contribute herbaceous aromas and flavors to the cheese. The practice of burying cheeses to age them has been dated to Etruscan times when it would have protected cheese from thieves as well as pathogens.
Matching the rustic manner in which it is matured, Infossato’s appearance is a rustic sphere. It has a wrinkled brown rind with a dense light yellow paste inside. The flavor is strong, a result of the seasoning that takes place during aging in the pits.
The suggested wine pairing for Infossato is Aglianico; a red wine made in the Basilico and Campania regions of Italy. It is a full-bodied red wine with high acidity and a good amount of tannins. Lager beers also work well with this cheese. Cooking suggestions include grating it over bean soups, or serving it on its own with apple jam.