Toma Maccagno Rosa

Regional selection: 
Selection by milk: 
Milk Treatment: 
Raw milk

Maccagno is the name of a peak in the Italian Alps, near the town of Biella, roughly midway between Turin and Milan. The Toma Maccagno, although not identical from one producer to the next, tends to weigh 4-6 pounds. They may be made with raw or pasteurized milk.

As it matures, the wheel is regularly washed with brine, which preserves the cheese and helps attract flavor-producing bacteria. Producers purportedly also rub the outside with saffron, some of the wheels have yellow splotches on the crust, a natural mold occurring from the grasses the animals are feeding on, not spice.

Maccagno Rosa has the typical character of a washed-rind cheese, with a supple, semi-soft ivory interior with many pinpoint eyes. The aroma is fruity, like decomposing apples, with some of that same damp-cellar smell. This cheese finishes with some faintly bitter and sour notes, but it's more appealing than it sounds.

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