Caseificio dei Barbi from Montalcino | www.caseificiodeibarbi.it has been named among the winners at the World Cheese Awards, which was held at the International Convention Centre Wales in Newport, on Wednesday 2 November. Standing out from the 4,434 entries, the Cacio all’aglione, a variety cheese made by Caseificio dei Barbi won the coveted Bronze award in the world’s most prestigious cheese-only event.
The Cacio all’aglione impressed some of the world’s leading experts in cheese, featuring cheesemakers, cheesemongers, buyers, chefs, retailers, and writers. The cheeses were scored on aspects such as the appearance of the rind and paste, as well as the cheese’s aroma, body, and texture, with the majority of points awarded for flavour and mouthfeel.
The award-winning Cacio all’aglione is a semi seasoned Pecorino flavored with chopped Aglione della Val di Chiana. This cheese is aged on wooden planks for 130 days. ‘Aglione’ means ‘big garlic’ and it’s a local garlic variety very large and with a distinctive taste.
The World Cheese Awards is organised by the Guild of Fine Food. This year’s World Cheese Awards was the 34th edition and has seen more entries than ever before with a record-breaking 4,434 cheeses submitted from 42 countries and 900 companies from around the globe All entries were judged in a single day, as 250 experts from 38 different nations studied their appearance, texture, aroma, and flavour.
The Caseificio dei Barbi is the most ancient cheese laboratory in Montalcino. It was opened for the first time in the middle of the nineteenth Century in Molin del Fiore (a mill which still belongs to the Colombini family). And it is located at the historic Fattoria dei Barbi, a brunello winery in Montalcino, owned by the Colombini family since 1740. Today the Caseificio dei Barbi continues its centuries-old tradition of cheeses made only from sheep’s milk thanks to the hand of the young Sardinian cheesemakers Salvatore Soddu and Angela Zizi and is specialized in small 330 g single-serving pecorino cheeses refined according to recovered traditions: we age them in olive paste, in walnut leaves, treated with tomato, with extra virgin olive oil, aged with maturation in the ziro (the Siena terracotta jar), up to the drunken ones with Sangiovese wine aging, those with truffles and with the most typical pepper of Montalcino. A medium and long seasoning type is also made; from December fresh ricotta is available again, also with truffles, and by reservation also raviggiolo.