Pecorino Sardo Cheese, Sardinia
Pecorino Sardo is the de facto cheese in Sardinia, among types of Italian cheese. It is made with whole sheep’s milk, and comes in two versions, dolce (“sweet”), and maturo, (“mature”) with 1-2 and 6 months of aging respectively. Its origins are practically as old as civilization on the island itself, and has been part of the agricultural economy since ancient times. Sardo means Sardinian.
Making Pecorino Sardo cheese is an art. Following milking, it is pasteurized and left to curdle with veal rennet, then the curd is broken into pieces of various sizes based on the type being produced, young or aged. After this the lumps are semi-cooked, salted, pressed into molds, and matured for 20-60 days, or at least 120 depending on the variety. At the end, it is naturally smoked.
Pecorino Sardo is the proof of how the richness of Italian gastronomic excellence depends on the diverse characteristics of the territories involved. Though some ingredients can originate in the same areas as those used for Pecorino Romano, it is different both in terms of its production process and sensory properties. Pecorino Sardo is more delicate, less salty, and not as pungent. It is ideal for situations in which it should accent, but not be the dominant factor. Pecorino cheese, live Sardinia!