Among the documents that bear witness to the ancient production of Casciotta d’Urbino, there is a letter between Michelangelo Buonarroti and his faithful friend, Francesco Amatori di Casteldurante (nowadays known as Urbania) in which reference is made to cheeses made in the cafeterias of illustrious artists. Indeed, in Urbino there has always been ‘Casciotte’: small cheeses that are eaten fresh after a brief maturation period, packaged in a mix of cow and sheep milk. In the ancient territory of Ducato, from Gubbio to Cantiano and from Cagli to the Metauro valleys to Carpegna, the mountainous nature matches the abundance of springs brings forth numerous fields, where raising cows and sheep come naturally. The production area of Casciotta d’Urbino overlaps with the entire province of Pesaro – Urbino.
The area is distinguished by its expansive fields that are characterised by special mountainous herbs, varied and rich flora and irregular vegetation, and for rich grassy soil that serves as food for sheep and cows.
Casciotta d’Urbino is cylindrical in shape with a flat base, rounded sides and a diameter of 12 to 16 cm. It weighs from 800 to 1200 grams.
The inner part of the cheese is white or straw in colour whereas the soft, fragile outer part is characterised by light markings. The crust is soft and straw coloured, with a width of nearly 1mm. The flavour is sweet, characterised by a mix of milk and its brief maturation period of 20 days. As soon as it enters the market it must have a label that guarantees that the product meets approved production standards. Once it has been cut the cheese must be protected by wrapping in cling film, and kept in the fridge at a temperature of 4-8°C for a few days. When served as a table cheese, it is advised to leave it to stand at room temperature for at least an hour.
egetable parcels with Casciotta d’Urbino and pea zabaglione
Ingredients for 4 people:
• 50 gr. di Casciotta d’Urbino
• 50 gr. Carrots
• 50 gr. Peppers
• 50 gr. Courgettes
• 2 lettuce leaves
• 10 gr. butter
• 1 pinch salt
• 1 pinch pepper
• 1 hard boiled egg
• 10 gr. Extra virgin olive oil
• 50 gr. Peas
• 50 gr. Cooking cream
Slice the carrots, courgettes and peppers. Scatter the vegetables uniformly on top of the Casciotta d’Urbino cheese that has been softened by the cooking cream. Add salt and spread with melted better, then roll the lettuce around the cheese to make a roll. Place in the fridge for an hour. For the zabaglione: Blend the egg, boiled peas, oil and a small amount of salt together to form a homogenous mixture. Place two spoonfuls of cream on every plate, then cut the parcel into slices of at least 3 or 4 cms and place them over the cream. Serve immediately.