Some of the most peculiar folklore traditions of Sardinia are preserved in the agri-food sector and in the preparation of its typical products. This one in particular, su casu cun s’axridda, has survived for centuries.
The Sardinian island is one of the most beautiful in the world, no doubt about it. Due to its geographical features, the people who live there have been able to maintain a good part of the oldest traditions of the region, despite the time that has passed.
One of these traditions is the ancient method of preparing and storing a pecorino cheese. We are talking about the legendary su casu cun s’axridda, produced in Escalaplano, a village in the province of Cagliari.
Here the inhabitants fought against themselves and against modernity to recover the old traditions inherited from their ancestors and they started making cheese according to its ancient recipe.
Su casu cun s’axridda is an incredible product: all its flavor, much more accentuated than a normal sheep milk cheese, derives from raw milk obtained by manual milking.
Many other dairy products do not arrive on our tables with their authentic taste; while this particular and precious cheese offers our palate all its flavor, thanks to the fantastic preservation technique that distinguishes it.
More than any other Sardinian cheese, it has a very strong, intense, delicious flavor, which goes well with that of pasta with sauce, freshly roasted hot bread or meat.
Due to its uniqueness and originality, it has been included in the prestigious PAT (Italian traditional agri-food products) list.
But how is it preserved and why is it called “cun s’axridda”?
The real peculiarity of this cheese is its time and weatherproof coating: a shell made of clay mixed with mastic oil.
The latter is a very exclusive and expensive vegetable fat, since it is extrapolated from a plant that grows only in Sardinia. The harvesting of the fruits of the mastic tree, the sieve and the cleaning, the boiling, the pressing with the feet are still done today in the same way as it was done in the past. The same practices are repeated from year to year, during the harvest season, and it is really tiring (but also much satisfying) to produce this rare oil that is not wasted in the kitchen, except for particular products such as su casu cun s’axridda.
Clay is used (that’s why s’axridda), mixed with a drizzle of lentisk oil, to prepare a special dough. This is applied at least twice over the whole form, until the casu is perfectly covered by this dough made of clay and oil.
A product that is suitable for all those palates who want to experience a new taste, and which is destined to cheer the tables of millions of Italians, not only Sardinians.