Pecorino Romano DOP
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Pecorino Romano DOP is a lactose-free hard cooked cheese, made with fresh whole sheep’s pasteurized milk exclusively from flocks reared in the wild and fed on natural pastures. This cheese is among the most important sheep’s milk cheese of the EU Protected Designation of Origin products.
The production area of Pecorino Romano PDO is within the entire territory of the regions of Lazio and Sardinia, and the Province of Grosseto, in the Tuscany region. It may be inoculated with natural cultures of lactic ferments indigenous to the area of production, then coagulated with lamb’s rennet in a paste derived exclusively from animals raised in the same production area.
Each of the three areas has an additional logo that can be displayed alongside the logo of the designation: “Pecorino Romano del Lazio”, “Pecorino Romano prodotto in Sardegna” and “Pecorino Romano prodotto in Grosseto”.
Facts About the Cheese
Pecorino Romano is offered at 2 different ages serving two different purposes:
- Table Cheese (a minimum maturation period of 5 months)
- Grating Cheese (a minimum maturation period of 8 months)
The rounds are cylindrical with flat top and bottom, the rind is thin and has a pale ivory to straw colour; the cheese is white or pale straw yellow in colour, compact or with several eyes.
The aroma is characteristic. The table cheese (ripened for 5-8 months) has an aromatic and slightly piquant flavour; the more mature cheese for grating (ripened for at least 8 months) has a piquant, intense and pleasing flavour.
The taste of the cheese is aromatic, lightly spicy and tangy in the table cheese, intensely spicy in the grated cheese.
Eaten as a table cheese (ripened for five months) or used as the basic ingredient for traditional recipes like Bucatini all’Amatriciana, Spaghetti Cacio e Pepe and Trippa alla Romana. Pecorino Romano ripened for over eight months is an excellent grating cheese.
Pecorino Romano DOP is characterized by the absence of lactose and galactose and the presence of unsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids. It is also rich in calcium and phosphorus.
Pecorino Romano DOP should be kept in a cool, dry place, wrapped in its original packaging.
Pair Me With
Pecorino Romano DOP is an energizing cheese that is easily digestible.
The Aged Pecorino Romano DOP is famous for the preparation of typical recipes of Roman cuisine such as Bucatini all’Amatriciana, Spaghetti Cacio e Pepe and the Trippa alla romana. As table cheese ( ripened for five months) it combines well with fresh vegetables and fruit.
On the first of May, Roman families traditionally eat Pecorino Romano with fresh fava beans during a daily excursion in the Roman Campagna.
Pecorino Romano simply means "sheep's [cheese] of Rome”. It is one of the most ancient cheeses in the world that existed for more than two thousand years. Today, it is still made according to the original recipe.
In the imperial palaces it was a prized dressing at banquets. It was also a staple in the diet for the legionaries of ancient Rome. as a supplement to the bread and farro soup. This cheese gave back strength and vigour to tired soldiers, giving them a high-energy food that was easy to digest.
The original archetype of the current Pecorino Romano DOP was first created in the upper Agro Romano region. But although the surroundings of Rome were the place where the process originated from, at the end of the 19th century Sardinia became the biggest producer.
The innesto is one of the defining characteristics of Pecorino Romano PDO and it consists of a group of indigenous thermophilic lactic bacteria with strains from the production area. Once added, the milk coagulates at a temperature between 38°C and 40°C (100°F and 104°F) using lamb’s rennet in paste form only obtained from animals raised in the same area of production of the cheese
Pecorino Romano is mostly used in Central and Southern Italy.
About the Consortium
The Consortium for the Protection of Pecorino Romano Cheese was established in November 1979 by a group of interested parties from Lazio and Sardinia to oversee the production and trade of Pecorino Romano. Since 28th April 2002 the Consortium has been granted the further task of safeguarding its protected designation of origin (DOP) status by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry.
Goals of the Consortium include protection and oversight of the production and marketing of Pecorino Romano, protection of the name in Italy and abroad, as well as increasing consumption and improving the quality of the product, all in collaboration with regional, national and EU entities and institutions.
Main content, images, and video by the The Consortium for the Protection of Pecorino Romano Cheese.
Written by Taste - True Italian Taste Project