Cacio Di Fossa

Cacio di Fossa literally means “cheese of the pit.” During the wars between Charles VIII of France and Ferdinand of Naples, the inhabitants of Sogliano al Rubicone would hide their cheese in underground fossas or holes. This tradition carries on according to a special and somewhat complicated ritual.

Disinfected with fire and lined with hay. The fossas are flask shaped, three meters deep and two meters wide. Each sack is marked with the owners’ name, stacked in layers on planks of wood, and separated by sand. Packed close together to seal out air, the fossa is hermetically sealed for re-fermentation over months that breaks down all the whey. This process begins mid-August and then harvested out of the fossa on November 16th during the holiday of Santa Caterina. Tied in a burlap sack after extraction the cheese’s owners would jealously cling to their prize while others would offer it for sale during the harvest festivities.

Cacio di Fossa cheese has an intense and somewhat piquant flavour.

Comparable Cheese: Pecorino Romano, Crotonese

  • Rind: No
  • Vegetarian: No
  • Type: Hard
  • Pairing: Brunello