The Ancient seasoning
Beppino Occelli has recovered Valcasotto, turning it into a real "cheese village".
The Ancient seasoning
The seasoning cellars of Valcasotto has a tradition that has been rooted for almost a century: here the cheeses of the Langa and the mountains of Cuneo find their ideal habitat. In the darkness of these cellars, time works together with air and water to bring the cheeses to full maturity, while expert ripeners periodically turn the cheeses over.
Discovering the secrets of an art: Refining
Afterwards the best wheels are " awarded" with the transfer to smaller cellars for refining. These are long months in which the special microclimate and the contact with 12 different woods promote the development of molds: white, pink, orange or greenish. The final taste of the cheese is thus enhanced and becomes unique.
The rule of the connoisseur: observe, smell, touch, listen and finally taste. Only in this way is true gourmet taste served. The words of the master of cheeses, Beppino Occelli, who organised a sensory journey into the world of raw milk in the village of Valcasotto, which has been chosen as the teaching facility of the University of Gastronomic Sciences of Pollenzo. Starting from here: the initiation rite, the mold factory. A large cellar set against the rock of the mountain that releases the humidity that the cheese needs in its slow apprenticeship.
Once the noble molds have made their appearance, the cheese is ready for another journey: in the darkness of the cellars it matures under the effect of time, water from the springs, mountain air and the expert eye of the master ripeners. Afterwards, a natural barricading takes place, choosing between 12 woods: from beech to apple, from pear to cherry, on which the great crus are left to rest: Losa, Cusiè, Verzin, Valcasotto, and Valcasotto di Alpeggio, the King's cheese. Every summer farmers gave this square cheese to the Savoia as a gift to thanks them for the Alpine pasture. Beppino Occelli recovered the traditional recipe introducing it as the father of Alpine cheese.
Those forgotten millstones
go Back working the golds of the fields
That forgotten mill, which over time had fed the mountain people with the power of water alone, has now returned to work.
It was about to be dismantled. Beppino Occelli brought it back to life by moving it to the heart of the village of Valcasotto, recovering the three millstones still regulated through the original mechanisms that the local craftsmen perfectly set them up two centuries ago, and restored them to their ancient and slow chant.
And so the mill built in 1802, in the middle of the Napoleonic era, today is still at disposal of the farmers of the valley who want to grind their products, free of charge. The rest is taken care of by the master millers of Valcasotto who work the gold of the fields here: rye for the black bread of Valcasotto, the ancient octophile corn for the “paste di meliga del Monregalese” (cookies) and the yellow polenta, the buckwheat and the autochthonous chestnuts that give a flour ideal for sweets, crepes and castagnaccio.
A meal in the basket at km 0:
the shop of the Kings’ village
The world in a grain of Valcasotto can be bought at zero km and a stone's throw from the mill: in the village shop where it is possible to fill a bag with all the production of Beppino Occelli.
In the Valcasotto shop is possible to buy the whole Beppino Occellli’s production: butter made of sweet cream from skimmed centrifuge from 100% Italian milk, from the Tume di Langa to the Cusiè, from the Valcasotto of the mountain pastures to Castelmagno.
Great recognition was given to the Beppino Occelli’s special reserve special refinements that vary from the use of chestnut leaves, fragrant mountain hay, black pepper and pink pepper, Sicilian candied fruit, wines from the Langhe and prestigious distillates.
All of this and much more: specialties like goat salami, mountain honeys, woodland jams and the must-have "paste di meliga" are just a part of rich variety you can find in the shop, a small spring from which you can bring home great fruits from King’s valley.
Room with a view over the Kings’ village many amenities and cuddles at the table
The rooms with view of the Mill’s Inn are beautifully furnished, equipped with all comforts a lift, including a storage and washing area for e-bikes, which can also be hired.
Chef Alessandra knows how to take care of her guests, delighting them at the table from the early hours of the morning with her freshly baked tarts and apple pies.
For the more adventurous guests there is the possibility to have a great packed lunch to enjoy in the meadows of the valley while comfort lovers will be pampered in the restaurant of the Locanda with delicious dishes.
There is no shortage of delicious opportunities, so if you want to have an extra break at the table, Alessandra, with the complicity of Occelli's products, offers another appointment: a snack. Here are chopping boards with lard and cheese, salami, honey and gluttony "because - as Beppino Occelli recalls - cheese is not just a piece of dairy history: it is an opportunity for a moment of conviviality, for sharing emotion and to do a journey between the senses".
Starting from 2021 the e-bike charging station will be available on the G.A.L. MONGIOIE e-bike CLUSTER.