PECORINO DI PIENZA – AN ANCIENT TRADITION
Pecorino di Pienza is a Tuscan cheese that has very ancient origins.
Pliny the Elder himself, told how the Etruscans used to make large wheels of pecorino, but even later Lorenzo The Magnificent in the book of his Canti Carnescialeschi lists Pecorino di Pienza among his favorite foods.
PIENZA CHEESE – CHARACTERISTICS
Fresh Pecorino di Pienza has has a delicate, elastic structure and an enchanting sweet flavour. As it matures, it acquires a more complex and aromatically intense taste.
The typical orange color of this Tuscan cheese is given by the mixture of tomato and oil with which the exterior is treated, which also serves to naturally protect the cheese.
Excellent for snacks or on a cheese board at the end of a meal accompanied by a famous wine from this area, Nobile di Montepulciano.
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PECORINO DI PIENZA – WHAT MAKES THIS TUSCAN CHEESE UNIQUE
The unique flavor of this flagship of the Val d’Orcia is certainly given by the presence of the particular clay soil where the sheep are raised, which feeding on the herbs present, such as ascentium, beetle and mint give the milk a unique herbaceous flavor with hints of chestnut and laurel.
The other uniqueness of this typical Pienza cheese is that it is made from the milk of Sardinian sheep, of which there are only 3,000 in Pienza.
In fact, farmers from Sardinia, experts in cheese production, moved to Tuscany with sheep, passing on their skills in cheese making.
This has made Pienza’s typical cheeses unique.
Pecorino di Pienza: production and types
Pecorino di Pienza is produced in two types the semi-matured red one, which is colored with tomato juice and fresher.
The more aged version, on the other hand, has a rind colored black.
The flavor is not spicy, because unlike other pecorinos, calf rennet is used instead of kid rennet.
The wheels are aged for at least 90 days in oak barrels, this gives this Tuscan cheese a particular hint of pomace.
If the aging period is 30 days, the pecorino is called fresh.
Semi-aged pecorino (2 to 5 months) has a rounded flavor and its rind is treated with olive oil.
In addition, there are other varieties among Pienza’s typical cheeses such as black pecorino, which has a dry and delicate flavor, pecorino aged in terracotta jars and wrapped in walnut leaves, and pecorino aged in a cave dug into the tuff.
This classic Pienza pecorino is sold whole by about 1.2 kg, and shipped in 48h in a food-grade polystyrene package to keep the pecorino at the right temperature.
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