A Sardinian cheese produced only in the period between January and May, which is distinguished by a distinctive characteristic: the forms are covered with clay powder. Hence its particular name: Axridda, clay in Sardinian dialect (the ‘x’ is pronounced like a soft ‘j’). This traditional practice has its roots in the time of Pliny the Elder and consists of protecting the products from high external temperatures by covering them with clay powder during the maturing process while maintaining an optimal level of humidity inside.
Axridda is produced in the small town of Escalaplano in the dry plateaus of southeastern Sardinia. It is unique with no other similar cheese produced in the world.
The cheese is made in cylindrical or cone-like shapes that can weigh anywhere from 2 – 12kg. The curd is a light yellow color and is crumbly with a hard dark rind.
Raw sheep’s milk is coagulated and then placed in molds and salted and left to dry. When it has dried, the cheese is cleaned with warm water and then rubbed with a mastic oil obtained from a local Mediterranean berry. After another 5-7 months the cheese is wrapped in the dark classic and left for another month at least. Maturation can vary from 6-30 months. Try Axridda paired with a local wine from the island.