Ah, cheese. Our biggest vice. Who in their right mind simply doesn’t like cheese these days?! There are so many different tastes and consistencies – crumbly, creamy, smelly, mature. There are also many different types – brie, cheddar, stilton, etc. In fact, these days you are simply spoilt for choice when it comes to enjoying and tasting cheese. So many different countries produce wonderful cheese, but, it’s pretty clear that Europe is the source of some of the best cheese.
Now, we’ve been thinking about Italian cheese a lot recently, mainly because we love parmesan. However, there is also another Italian cheese that we find highly underrated these days, and that is pecorino. We decided to go back to the source and see where and how this sacred Italian cheese is made. Join us now, on a journey into the wilds of Tuscany, to discover how the history of this tasty cheese.
The tiny Tuscan town of Pienza is unlike anywhere you’ve seen before. This Renaissance-era town is one of lush, sprawling hills, and open farmland. It is here that you will find the tiny organic farm known as Podere Il Casale – a place where the magic happens! In the early hours of the morning, on this very farm, you will find the farmers milking the sheep, an integral part of what helps produce the town’s most famous and popular export – pecorino di Pienza, perhaps one of the most exquisite cheeses in the world.
Now, most people who hear the word ‘pecorino’ automatically assume the cheese being mentioned in Pecorino Romano. This is a salty cheese more akin to the sort you would cook with, and completely unlike the one found here. The pecorino di Pienza cheese is one made from sheep milk and is produced by rearing the sheep on a meticulous diet and lifestyle. If you’ve never tried it before, we recommend you do as it’s one of the most delicious and tasty cheese in the world.
The Val d’Orcia
The Val d’Orcia is a region of Tuscany in which this stunning cheese is produced; at last count, there are about 20 producers of pecorino in this region. It has come a long way in the past 50 years when nobody wanted to live here. It has evolved into one of Tuscany’s most famous and sought-after regions and is a UNESCO Heritage Site. This is the perfect place for producing the most delicious and enjoyable Pecorino cheese anywhere in the world. This is where the magic happens, and what helps the cheese to be produced in the most unique way possible.
We all know how amazing cheese is, and the role it plays in our culinary lives. But, it’s also important to understand how much effort goes into preparing and producing some cheeses. Pecorino is one of the most delicious cheeses in the world and is produced throughout Tuscany. If you ever get the opportunity to try this sheep milk cheese, we highly recommend you do that as soon as you can.