February 12, 2009
Raw Milk Cheese
A hard, salty cheese that is generally used for grating, Pecorino Romano was eaten by the legionaries of ancient Rome. The recipe is the same today as it was then. Varro and Pliny, the Elder wrote about this cheese 2000 years ago.
This cheese is produced from sheep (the Italian word for sheep is pecora) raised on the plains of Lazio and Sardinia. Most of this cheese is now produced in Gavoi, on the island.
Pecorino Romano is primarily used on pasta dishes due to its salty taste; although the younger version makes a nice table cheese. As it ages, it becomes more salty and better suited for grating on highly-flavored sauces.
Roman families have a tradition of eating Pecorino Romano with fava beans on May 1stduring excursions in the Campagna.
This PDO-protected cheese, in addition to being salty, is sharp and aromatic. It’s color is chalky white; reminiscent of the stucco houses along the Mediterranean.
The Lady offers this cheese grated and blended with Asiago and Parmigiano-Reggiano at the Cheese Kiosk. She also likes to sample it for customers to learn that it makes an excellent table cheese.
I give Pecorino Romano 3 Paws out of 4 Paws (cause that’s all I’ve got).
Serving Suggestions: As a table cheese, it goes well with rustic breads and grapes and figs. As a grating cheese, use it on full-flavored dishes such as bucatini all’amatriciana.
Wine Pairings: Chianti Riserva
Source: Sheep’s Milk