Tuscan cheese is traditionally produced with ewe's milk. Just a few cheeses, mainly underripe cheeses, are produced with goat's or cow's milk. The most typical Tuscan cheese is ripe or underripe pecorino. Each producer obtains a different cheese according to the local peculiar features. Every pecorino cheese varies and has different nuances according to the season it is prepared, to the pasture, to the clay and to the flavours and wild herbs of the area: wild mint, catnip, radicchietto, crescione (Lepidium sativum). These herbs perfume the milk, making it less fat, and give the cheese a fresh and typical aroma. Flavours become more marked with ripening: the sweet taste develops in a spicy note, colour becomes more intense, as well as consistency.
Pecorino Fresco (Underripe Cheese)
Sweet and fragrant, is the less matured cheese and it can be consumed a few days after processing. Underripe pecorino has a delicate aromatic flavour, a yellow rind, a compact semihard texture, with tiny straw-yellow holes, a fresh, strong, fragrant flavour. It is typically accompanied with the "baccelli" (fresh bread bones).
Marzolino (March Cheese)
Marzolino is a spring cheese with a typical oval shape, weighing 6-700gr. It is obtained by processing the milk coming from the first milking and is to be consumed a few days afterwards. Sweet and fresh, it is available for a few months a year.
Pecorino Semistagionato (medium matured cheese)
Pecorino semistagionato is a cheese that has been aged for at least 40 days. In some areas it has a typical red rind. It has a strong, particularly aromatic flavour.
Pecorino stagionato (matured cheese)
Pecorino Stagionato is the typical matured ewe's cheese and it is prepared in 2.5kg wheels. After 120 days of aging, when maturation has exalted its intense flavours and its mild spicy notes, Consorzio di Tutela del Pecorino Toscano inspects the cheese and wheels are heat brand the rind with its logo. It is easily identified thanks to its dark rind and to its rich, velvety flavours, with spicy notes. It is perfect foil with San Gimignano Rosso Doc. Info at: www.pecorinotoscano.it.
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