What is Caglio?
Caglio was born after many foodie talks between the two founders, Daniele and Alessio. Both Italians, both working in the food industry for many years. Alessio working with food producers everyday and Daniele living in UK and struggling to find genuine Italian products, not overpriced or coming by the same industrial brands.
In Italy there are many small scale artisans producers that make incredible products but they are usually confined to sell in their small area of origin. The reasons? To be able to sell abroad you must comply with tons of bureaucracy and with large distribution systems that push hard on prices and give small margins to the producers. Consequently forget to taste the same piece of cheese you tasted during your holidays when you were lost in the Tuscan country side.
I was sent a tasting box to find out for myself what their products and producers are about.
The box is somehow eclectic and included a number of really good quality items. The first I tried were the two fresh cheeses (vacuum packed) which were both delicious. Both also produced by the same Latteria sociale di Valtorta in Lombardy. The one which I truly loved was Formai de Mut dell’alta val brembana DOP, a classic Alpage cheese made with milk coming from the high pastures of the allotted villages of the Alta Val Brembana. In local dialect , “Formai de Mut” means mountain cheese.
The production is strictly regulated from the Consorzio. It must be produced from raw, full fat cow’s milk and the cows must be fed with grass originating from area selected by the Consorzio. The flavour was strong, mature and the texture semi hard. I used some in pasta dishes and worked really well too.
The second cheese I tasted was Agri’ di Valtorta cheese. Entirely handmade and produced with raw milk that comes from only 12 local farmers (each of them with max 10/12 cows), it can be eaten either fresh or aged for several weeks for a more complex flavour and a more compact texture. I really enjoyed this cheese too – stronger, harder so slightly more difficult to pair up but a great product nonetheless.
The box also included an excellent Extra Virgin Olive Oil Francesco Pepe Exo il Principio. This Extra virgin Olive oil comes from the press of the olives from variety Leccino, Frantoio, Olivella and Ravece and is from my home region of Campania.
Finally the box had two products in jars. Both from Colle Fiorito organic farm, the pesto was pleasant and light; I have yet to try the blueberry compote.
Caglio offers hand picked products from small producers with sustainability at their core. It sells products that are not easy to source in the UK and therefore offers the opportunity to try some excellent ingredients.I received the tasting box complimentary and was not asked to write this post; descriptions of products from Caglio website; opinions are my own