Good Morning Cheesies! Today I present to you PECORINO ROMANO as our cheese of the day. This is quite an ancient cheese, having been written about by Pliny the Elder two thousand years ago. It originated in the countryside surrounding Rome and was a very important ration for Roman soldiers. It’s production takes place in Lazio (the province where Rome is located) in Sardinia and also Tuscany. It is chiefly used as a cooking cheese, grated over pasta and in recipes for meat sauces and meatballs, and is also delicious for roasted and sauteed vegetables. I love it in fennel orange salads and with pan-roasted asparagus!
I’ll be honest, it took a long, long time for me to identify the flavor of sheep’s milk cheeses. I had to visit a sheep farm and experience the atmosphere of the sheep before it sunk into my sensory brain. The best way I have ever heard it described was that it is like melted ice cream (sans sugar and flavoring, of course). What this captures is the richness of the milk, which has twice the fat and 70% more protein than cow’s milk. Robert McKeown, in his entry in The Oxford Companion to Cheese charmingly describes pecorino romano thusly “a paste that, while compact, crumbles nicely and settles on the palate with bright, tangy notes that balance sheepy sweetness with lashings of salinity”.
Have you ever tried to sell cheese to a New Yorker? I have, and it took a minute to get used to it. They know everything already. They insist on Locatelli, and nothing else will do, not even Pecorino Sini Fulvi, which I happen to love. They will go without rather than settle, so I make sure to stock it. But I couldn’t find an actual website for Locatelli as I researched for this post. The info I found indicates that the Locatelli family has been making the cheese in Lazio for 500 years. A proud tradition indeed, I would love to hear more about them, feel free to post in the comments!
A consortium was established in 1979 to establish and enforce the standard of excellence of Pecorino Romano. DOP status was granted in 1996.
THIS JUST IN: THANKS TO THE GENEROSITY OF SO MANY IN OUR CHEESE COMMUNITY, OUR FIRST ACS CCP EXAM® HAS BEEN FULLY FUNDED!! Plus we are 50% toward funding a second scholarship for an ACS CCP® to attend the ACS Conference in Denver.
Our Facebook Cheese Study Group is raising funds to send worthy ACS CCP exam® candidates and ACS CCPs® who want to attend the 2017 ACS Conference in Denver, Cheese With Altitude. You can apply for a scholarship by clicking hereand you can contribute to the scholarship fund by clicking here. All monies raised (withe the exception of the fees charged by GoFundMe) go to the winners of the scholarship. everyone involved in the scholarship efforts is donating their time and receiving NO fees or monetary compensation… just the feeling of helping those who need our help. Complete rules and information can be found here.
Application deadline is 5pm, PT, April 15th.