Pecorino Sardo DOP - Origins and production area
Pecorino is a generic term and as such it can be used to indicate any cheese made with sheep's milk. And in fact, in Italy there is a great variety of pecorino, all characteristic of particular areas or of certain sheep breeds. Sardinian Pecorino, despite the recent recognition as a designation of origin, has an ancient history and is linked to the characteristic productions of which Sardinia is rich. Under the Sardinian Pecorino brand, a dairy product that has long been known and appreciated has flowed: it is Semicotto, a cheese that boasts an ancient tradition and whose production is widespread throughout the island. The raw material is whole Sardinian sheep's milk.
Production area: Sardinia (provinces of Cagliari, Nuoro, Oristano, Sassari).
The Protected Designation of Origin was recognized on July 1, 1996.
Pecorino Sardo DOP (www.pecorinosardo.it)
Characteristics and production phases
Type of cheese: white, compact, with variable seasoning.
Two types of pecorino foreseen by the specification: the sweet Sardinian Pecorino and the seasoned Sardinian Pecorino. The first is characterized by a particularly delicate and never spicy taste.
The cylindrical shapes, with a diameter of 15-18 cm and a barefoot of 6-10 cm, have a weight of between 1 and 2.3 kg. The rind is thin, smooth, white or pale straw in color. The paste is white, soft, compact or with sparse holes.
The processing method involves the possible use of natural lactic ferments and coagulation with calf rennet.
The salting is done both dry and, more often, in brine. Then follows the maturation phase carried out in special rooms and for fairly short times (from 20 to 60 days). The maturing period of the mature Sardinian Pecorino is decidedly longer, which reaches 12 months in the forms used for grating. The other stages of processing of the matured cheese - except for some details relating to the size with which the curd is broken after coagulation - follow the same lines as those described for the sweet type.
The forms of the seasoned have a higher weight and can reach 4 kilos. The rind, which in the first months of maturing is pale straw in color, over time becomes thicker and takes on a typical brown color. The consistency of the pasta, tender and elastic in the younger forms, undergoes a considerable increase in consistency in aging. Even the flavor, still sweet and aromatic for the forms matured up to three months, becomes slightly spicy and characteristic for cheeses with more than eight months of aging. Also for the mature type there is also the possibility of smoking the shapes, which thus acquire an even more characteristic and defined flavor.
Gastronomy and recommended wines
Both sweet and ripe Sardinian Pecorino are excellent table cheeses. The longer aged one is an excellent grating cheese.
Recommended wines for matching - Sweet Sardinian Pecorino: Vermentino di Gallura, Vermentino di Sardegna, Monica di Sardegna; Sardinian pecorino cheese: Cannonau di Sardegna, Mandrolisai, Velletri rosso, Brunello di Montalcino, Carignano del Sulcis Rosso.
Consortium for the protection of Pecorino Sardo DOP
Piazza S. Bartolomeo, 8
tel. (+39) 070.372.885 - fax (+39) 070.372.899
Production specification - Pecorino Sardo DOP
The denomination of origin of the Pecorino Sardo cheese is recognized, the use of which is reserved for the product having the requirements established with this decree with regard to the organoleptic and hemerological characteristics deriving from the production area delimited in the following articles.
The denomination of origin Pecorino Sardo is reserved for cheeses with the following characteristics, as it is intended to distinguish the sweet typology from the ripe typology, without prejudice to the same area
production and seasoning for both types:
Sweet Sardinian Pecorino:
semi-cooked table cheese made exclusively with whole sheep's milk from the production area, possibly inoculated with cultures of natural lactic ferments and coagulated with rennet
The clot rupture continues until the lumps have reached the size of a hazelnut.
Salting is carried out wet and / or dry.
Maturation takes place in 20-60 days.
Shape: cylindrical with flat faces with straight or slightly convex sides.
Weight between 1 and 2.3 kg.
Dimensions: heel height 6-10 cm, face diameter 15-18 cm.
Variations more or less in size and weight depend on the technical conditions of production and the maturation period.
Rind: smooth, thin, white or light straw color.
Pasta: white, soft, compact or with sparse holes, with a sweet aromatic or slightly acidic flavor.
Fat on dry matter minimum 40%.
Ripe Sardinian Pecorino:
semi-cooked table cheese or grater produced exclusively with sheep's milk from the production area, possibly inoculated with cultures of natural lactic ferments and
coagulated with calf rennet.
The clot rupture continues until the lumps have reached the size of a corn kernel.
Salting is carried out wet and / or dry.
Seasoning lasts more than two months in special rooms whose temperature and humidity must be adequately controlled.
Shape: cylindrical with flat faces and straight sides.
Weight between 1.7 and 4 kg.
Dimensions: height of the heel 10-13 cm, diameter of the faces 15-20 cm.
Variations more or less in size and weight depend on the technical conditions of production and the lengthening of the seasoning.
Rind: smooth, consistent, pale straw in young cheese, brown in the more mature one.
Pasta: white, tending with the progress of maturing to straw, compact or with sparse holes, it is tender, elastic and with a sweet-aromatic flavor in the young forms, hard, sometimes with some
graininess, with a pleasantly spicy flavor in the most seasoned forms.
Fat on dry matter minimum 35%
Ripe Pecorino Sardo can be smoked with a natural process.
The production and maturing area for sweet and ripe Pecorino Sardo cheese includes the administrative inter-territory of the Sardinia region.
On the forms of sweet and ripe Pecorino Sardo cheese there must be specific marks of the name of origin of the cheese itself and the details of this decree