If sheep farming has remote origins in Tuscany, the same could be said for cheese produced with goat’s milk. The Etruscans, for example, used vegetable rennet to produce huge cheeses that could feed a family for a long period. Today, Pecorino Toscano PDO embodies the flavours of thousands of years of Tuscan cheese making. The cheese’s production area covers the whole Tuscan region as well as the communes of Allerona
(TR), Castiglione del Lago (PG), Acquapendente, Onano, San Lorenzo Nuovo, Grotte di Castro, Gradoli, Valentano, Farnese, Ischia di Castro, Montefiascone, Bolsena e Capodimonte (VT).
Pecorino Toscano is uniquely PDO, in the sense that to take the name it must conform to certain rules: first, the milk must come from goats and must derive from the original production location. Pecorino Toscano PDO is cylindrical in shape with curved edges; it has a diameter from 15 to 22 cm and is white to straw in colour. The marking is always made on the base – in ink with for the soft version; in the mature version the marking is burned on. The flavor is fragrant, unique, normally described as ‘sweet’ – longer maturation periods intensify the flavor and aroma and add to the piquancy.
Pecorino Toscano PDO should be kept at the bottom of the fridge. It is better to wrap it in a cotton cloth, protecting where it is cut with cling film. To enjoy it to the fullest, take it out of the fridge at least an hour before consumption.
Grilled Pecorino Toscano PDO
600 grams of soft Pecorino Toscano PDO
Using a knife with a smooth blade, shave off the rind of the cheese, cutting off six slices and spreading them on a hot griddle pan. Cook on both sides and serve hot accompanied with slices of toasted Tuscan bread.