Pecorino cheese, originally produced in the territory of the Roman Countryside and produced today within Decima Malafede Nature Reserve (RomaNatura), is one of the most ancient cheese in the world. Authors like Varrone, Pliny the Elder, Hippocrates, and Columella talk about it in detail in their books, praising it for its quality to give strength to the tired soldiers and describing the ancient cheese-making techniques, which seem similar to the modern ones.
It is a table cheese, it can be grated and used to prepare many dishes; it has a hard and cooked texture, is exclusively produced with whole fresh sheep's milk pasteurized at a temperature of 72°C. The main ingredients added are lamb rennet and freeze-dried milk enzymes. It has a thin rind, a white or pale yellow texture, and a compact structure. It weights from 3 to 5 Kg and has a cylindrical shape, with flat sides.
The production period usually goes from November to June. The maturation period can last 5 months for the table cheese and at least 12 months for the cheese to grate. The organoleptic features of the product, varying according to the maturation and production processes, present an aromatic and slightly spicy taste for the table cheese and a spicy, intense, and pleasant taste for the cheese to be grated when it is well mature.
According to the tradition, in the Roman countryside pecorino cheese is eaten with homemade bread and fresh broad beans. Grated, it is an irreplaceable ingredient of many local dishes, especially in Central and Southern Italy.
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