Good Morning! Today we explore the fine pecorinos of Il Forteto, an amazing farming collective from Tuscany. I had the pleasure of creating this post with my colleague and bestie, Mike Brantl. Years ago, he won a 6 month long sales contest and the prize was a trip to Italy to visit producers of many fine cheeses. The visit to Il Forteto was especially marvelous. In the comments, please watch the slide show video created by Amy Young Goetz, who also went on the trip. Here are Mike’s words for our blog post today:
“Making cheese from sheep milk is an ancient art. everywhere you can find sheep, you can expect to find cheeses made from the milk!
In Italy, pecorinos were made in pre-roman times by the Etruscans. In Tuscany, the oldest sources refer to these cheeses as “cacio marzolino” since production was begun in the month of March.
At Il Forteto, a facility I visited in 2012, pecorino cheeses are at their best. Being a member of the Consortium for the Protection of Pecorino Toscano, this producer makes over 30 varieties of cheese, many of which are exported to the US. I have been selling these cheeses for over ten years, and they are always consistent and of the highest quality. I have had the great pleasure of hosting Stefano Sarti on my store a number of times. He is one of the founding members of the cooperative that had its beginning in1977.”
Here is a beautiful video that shows just how Il Forteto creates its cheeses, from the milking to the branding of each individual wheel. It only has 348 views, let’s make it go viral!