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'castle cheese'

First recorded in the 12th century, and the hit of the Isabella of Aragon and Gian Galeazzo Sforza's wedding banquet in 1489, this unusual cheese from Montébore in the province of Alessandria was forgotten by 1982, but revived in 1997 by Maurizo Fava who sought out Carolina Branca, the last living person who knew how to make it.

Montebore made from cow's milk, or a mix of cow's and ewe's milk, put into different sized moulds, and then stacked three high to form a mini-castle. The flavour is delicate in young cheeses, becoming saltier and more savoury in aged ones.

Text © Dana Facaros and Michael Pauls

Images by: gastronomiamiraggio