A journey into taste that starts from the famous Pecorino Toscano and reaches the goat cheese of Alto Mugello. Discover with us which are the best typical Tuscan cheeses!
Herding is an activity that has always been practiced in the Tuscan territory, just think of the Maremma pastures and the Apennine and Casentino transhumance.
The best Tuscan sheep milk comes from some production areas known for the quality of pastures such as the municipality of Pienza, the province of Siena, from which the respective pecorinos with guaranteed traceability derive and from the Val d’Orcia.
In Tuscany the other areas of excellence for milk collection are the province of Grosseto, the Pisan and Livornese Hills, the area along the Tyrrhenian coast from Vada to Suvereto and the area of the Migliarino – San Rossore – Massaciuccoli.
In most of the Tuscan dairies the selection of milk and the processing methods have remained unchanged for decades, as have the traditional productions with raw milk, dry salting, crust treatment with natural products such as extra virgin olive oil and seasoning on fir wood boards.
In all of Tuscany delicious cheeses are produced with unique characteristics.
For example, in Maremma and in Upper Mugello, delicious fresh or aged goats cheeses are produced, while in Lunigiana and Pistoiese caciottas are produced, both with cow’s and sheep’s milk.
Here is a list of the best typical Tuscan cheeses:
Pecorino Toscano is certainly the most famous of the cheeses produced in our beautiful region.
In order to be called “Pecorino Toscano” the cheese must have specific characteristics.
It is a soft or semi-hard cheese made exclusively with whole sheep’s milk. The maturation period is at least twenty days for soft cheese and should be no less than four months for semi-hard cheese. It is used as a table cheese or grated cheese.
The basic feeding of sheeps must consist predominantly of green or hay fodder derived from the natural pastures of the area with possible additions of hay and simple concentrated feed.
Pecorino Toscano is a versatile cheese that can be enjoyed as a table cheese, fresh or aged, but also as an ingredient to enrich dishes and recipes.
Delicious with bread but also in refined combinations with jams, honey or fruit mustards. In Italian cuisine, Pecorino Toscano is often used as an appetizer accompanied by cold cuts or to flavor focaccia, savory pies, tortelli and meat rolls.
If you are a lover of dairy products handcrafted according to local traditions and you are planning a holiday in Tuscany, you really cannot miss a visit to the best dairies that this region has to offer, which produce superb quality cheeses, all characterized by great attention and care for the smallest detail.
So let’s see what they are below.
It is located in the province of Pisa (Acciaolo di Fauglia); among its specialties there are in particular pure sheep ricotta and the classic, timeless Pecorino Toscano DOP, cheeses that won respectively the bronze and silver medal at the Word Cheese Awards 2022-2023.
In the heart of Montepulciano stands this dairy whose origin dates back to 1962, which offers its customers the possibility of tasting 5 excellent varieties of ricotta and pecorino on site, perfectly combined with honey and jams and excellent red wine from Montepulciano.
We now move towards Roccalbegna (in the province of Grosseto) where this dairy stands out, which is considered a real point of reference in the dairy sector, not only locally, but also nationally and even internationally: the pecorino cheeses produced here respecting the ancient traditions of in fact, they are consumed in prestigious foreign restaurants, such as those in London, New York or Tokyo.
Still in the province of Grosseto, but this time in the locality of Seggiano, the dairy of the same name has found its home since 2001, characterized both by the production of traditional pecorino cheeses and cheeses with different ages, which perfectly express the desire to experiment , having however always and in any case as a basic rule that of supplying consumers only with products of the highest quality.
Located in the province of Arezzo, in Foiano della Chiana, it is characterized by the dairy processing that combines modernity and classicism and whose scrupulous attention begins right from the moment of selection of the farmers who supply the milk, who, in order to collaborate with this dairy, must comply with strict rules in terms of quality.
Let’s now move on to the Tuscan Maremma and talk about a dairy that dates back to 1966, in which the spirit of innovation meets the link with the oldest dairy tradition of the area. From this perfect combination, therefore, perfumed forms with an intense and particular flavor are born. Furthermore, the Tuscan pecorino DOP produced here was awarded the bronze medal in 2019 at the previously mentioned World Cheese Awards.
We conclude the list of the best Tuscan dairies with the Val D’Orcia Dairy, located in Contignano, in the province of Siena. Here, using the ancient maturing techniques, the traditional Cacio di Pienza is made, i.e. a variety of pecorino which is aged in barriques, which gives it a truly unmistakable flavor and aroma. Perfect to combine with a thick slice of Tuscan bread, strictly without salt.
To taste the best cheeses of Tuscany we are waiting for you in the Mugello at Villa Campestri Olive Oil Resort!
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