Pecorino Toscano, a DOP cheese with an unmistakable flavor

Pecorino Toscano, a DOP cheese with an unmistakable flavor

Among the products that the rich gastronomic tradition of Tuscany can offer, there is undoubtedly the Tuscan pecorino DOP. It is a very tasty sheep’s cheese and therefore appreciated by “good forks”.

History and characteristics of an ancient cheese

The Tuscan pecorino has its origins in antiquity, since it seems to have been produced in the city of Luni, in the area between Liguria and Tuscany, already by the Etruscans who dedicated themselves to sheep farming and dairy production.

Moreover, it is certainly no coincidence that this agri-food product is even present in the encyclopedic work Naturalis historia by Pliny the Elder, a prolific Roman writer who lived between the second and first centuries BC.

It was once called “cacio marzolino”, since its production began in the month of March and was much appreciated even by Lorenzo the Magnificent, at the time of which it was celebrated as one of the best Italian cheeses.

Today, as then, Pecorino Toscano DOP is a cylindrical-shaped cheese obtained with the use of 100% whole sheep’s milk.

Depending on the seasoning, this dairy product has a soft or semi-hard texture, white or straw-colored, but always compact, while the external rind can take on different shades of yellow. The accentuated flavor is distinguished by its fragrance, characteristic of this type of cheese. The production of this specialty has been protected, since 1996, by the Consortium for the protection of Pecorino Toscano DOP.

How to use Tuscan pecorino DOP in the kitchen

Pecorino Toscano DOP may vary due to the aging times, related to the production area.

In fact, they range from the freshest forms, with a delicate and sweet flavor, to the semi-seasoned ones, characterized by a more pronounced and savory taste. In addition, there are also long-aged pecorino cheeses on the market, the texture of which becomes harder and the flavor acquires more decisive and marked tones.

It is this last type of Tuscan pecorino that lends itself to combinations with honey and fruit jams, creating a real gourmet contrast.

In the kitchen, Pecorino Toscano DOP lends itself to an infinite number of recipes that it is capable of enhancing with its characteristic flavor.

From appetizers to desserts, passing through first courses and second courses, Pecorino Toscano DOP can also be found in sandwiches, perfect for delicious packed lunches or during the most sought after birthday parties.

Not to forget the bakery products, such as breadsticks or muffins and savory pies, in which you can indulge yourself by combining seasonal vegetables with this very tasty cheese.

What can we say, then, if we are faced with a very simple dish of pasta with sauce, made more interesting by a sprinkling of grated Tuscan pecorino DOP?

But among the most surprising recipes, the Consortium for the protection of Pecorino Toscano DOP proposes the Fondue of Pecorino Toscano DOP with crispy asparagus and bacon chips, a recipe that is able to tell in an excellent way the agri-food history of this territory rich in traditions.

We are waiting for you in Mugello to taste the Pecorino Toscano

If you want to taste the typical Tuscan products, including the famous pecorino, all you have to do is organize your next holiday in the green Mugello and discover the cuisine of Villa Campestri Olive Oil Resort!

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