Antonio Carpenedo and his sons Ernesto and Alessandro, owners of the company "La Casearia Carpenedo srl.", come from an old family of cheese merchants. They have over thirty years of experience in the dairy-cheese sector and today devote themselves to producing innovative cheese like "L'Ubriaco"®, "Brillo di Treviso"®, "Sottocenere Aromatizzato al Tartufo", "Speziato" and the so called "Barricati" cheese. The company is also engaged in the research and promotion.
In a world spinning faster and faster where perfumes, tastes and colours are lost between the hands of the clock and the incessant quest for business, there is a "kingdom", in Camalò, as the press calls it, where true love for one's work, imagination, unceasing research and the recovery and the respect for traditions become real art. Art where not just experience but also creativeness and imagination are given full rein. This company has walked its path in the fascinating world of cheese since the time when to buy it one bartered it for other foodstuffs. The history of the Company began in the early 1900s when Ernesto Carpenedo, Antonio's father began to work as a "casoin" (a dialect term meaning a cheese seller) in a little shop in the village of Preganziol (TV).
They certainly were not golden times but passion and commitment made it possible to lay the basis for a solid company that he then handed down to his son.
Antonio with twenty years of dairy experience under his belt has, since 1976, dedicated all his efforts to refining and it was precisely in that year that the first rounds of cheese were steeped in the vats of vinasse giving birth to the cheese called Ubriaco (the Italian word for "drunk"). From that year on, he began his splendid career as refiner, where all his will to create and his imagination have been turned into unique products distinguished by passion and experience. Today, also thanks to the assistance rendered by sons Ernesto and Alessandro, "the Cheeses of the Antonio Carpenedo cellar" are not only appreciated around Europe but overseas as well.
It was in 1917, the terrible year of the First World War and of the rout at Caporetto, when the Italian front under the thrust of Austro-Hungarian formations withdrew in just a few days from the Carso to the Piave River. In those areas the population had long been afflicted not just with the sacrifices that a war entails, but also the weight of having to support the troops, with just the already scarce produce afforded by the countryside. In fact the troops approached and ordered, with increasing insistence, the "masses", i.e. the compulsory handing over of large amounts of food destined for their maintenance. The forays of bands of stragglers then exacerbated the situation, forcing the smallholders, who in those days used to live in family groups of over forty people, to come up with plans to save the food necessary for the winter from the raids.
Some peasant, the name of whom history does not record, living in the Piave area not far from Treviso then had the idea of hiding the cheese just produced that seasoned after the summer from the soldiers by storing it on the racks in the cellars. It was autumn, the time of the harvest. And so, why not hide a few rounds in the vats of must, under the fermenting vinasse? A desperate ploy that then turned out to be a stroke of genius. The cheese was therefore hidden in the vats and left there for weeks. They only counted on one result: to still have something to eat even if taste had to be sacrificed. Instead, when the rounds were extracted from the vats, the most exciting discovery was that the cheese was none the worse for wear, but had taken on a particular colour, perfume and taste.
The cheese had actually taken on a new lease of life in the vats, the consistency had acquired a softness and straw yellow colour, it had acquired a highly original taste somewhere between fruity and spicy: a true joy for the palate. In 1976, in dusting off this peasant tradition, the company began to produce this cheese which we called "UBRIACO" - which means "drunk" - for its special features. In addition to direct sales from our shop at the dairy, we had the idea of recommending it to a few specialty shops which timidly displayed it on their counters. As time went by, this production became ever more important, obliging Antonio Carpenedo to leave his job as cheesemaker to devote his time exclusively to refinement.
This decision gave him more time to let all of his creativeness out. He thus began experiments upon experiments, to mould real masterpieces. "I formaggi di cantina", i.e. "The Cheeses of the Cellar". The "Ubriaco" range is really extensive, and the various cheeses in it stand out for the various characteristics provided by the variegated cheese type and naturally the different vinasses used. We do everything we can to always respect the territory by choosing the vine that comes from the same place as the cheese, but this does not mean that really interesting blends cannot occur from different points of origin, different but always of the highest quality.
The variety of the Ubriaco range enables us to sample it, not just as an aperitif but also as a tasty dessert washed down with a glass of passito fortified wine.
The "Formaggi di Cantina" range also contains a number of products called barriqued cheeses, i.e. refined in barriques, where they are left to stand for several months under careful monitoring known as TUTA, the Italian acronym for Time, Humidity, Temperature and Environment. These values are fundamental because the art of refinement is precisely based on them. Barriqued cheeses are set in a class of their own by their intense perfume and truly unique flavours.
The inspiration for the "Vento d'Estate", one of the barriqued versions,i.e. refined in select vats made of French Oak, came in the month of July 1998, when Antonio and his wife Giuseppina made their way down the Grappa after going to get a few rounds of Morlacco d'Alpeggio, and they encountered a tractor pulling a trailer of hay along their way. This gave out such a fantastic smell that they overtook it and stopped it to buy some, all to the amazement of the owner. Time and many experiments gave birth to a cheese that carries the full scent and aromas of the hay, precisely of a healthy meadow, of never ending plateaux swept by balmy air. Just as worthy of note are the soft, rarified "Conciato alle foglie di noce", the "Sottocenere al tartufo", the very delicate "Conciato al pepe nero" and many others.
They are cheeses to be meditated on that need to be talked about, explained, tasted according to the rules that this art requires, to treat oneself to a moment of pleasure by going back in the imagination to the streets of yesteryear.