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Pecorino is the name given to all Italian cheeses made from sheep's milk. It covers a wide variety of cheeses produced around the country, but specifically it refers to four main varieties of Pecorino, all of which enjoy PDO protection. These hard ewes’ milk cheeses from central Italy and the island of Sardinia have established a very good export market outside Italy.

Of these four, Pecorino Romano from Sardinia, Lazio and Tuscan Province of Grosseto is the most widely known outside of Italy. The remaining three mature PDO cheeses are Pecorino Sardo from Sardinia, Pecorino Siciliano from Sicily and Pecorino Toscano from Tuscany.

Pecorinos are traditional, creamery, hard, drum-shaped cheeses. They come in a variety of flavors determined by their age. Aged Pecorinos referred to as ‘stagionato’ are hard and crumbly in texture with buttery and nutty flavors. Young or ‘semi-stagionato’ and ‘fresco’ Pecorinos feature a softer texture with mild, creamy flavors. A good Pecorino will have smooth, hard rind that is pale straw to dark brown in color. The rind will vary in color, depending on the age of the cheese, and may include a protecting coating of lard or oil. Its compact interior is white to pale yellow in color, with irregular, small eyes.

Today, this classic Italian cheese is available in many flavors including Pecorino Pepato spiced with black peppercorns or red chili. Pecorino is a preferred cheese in many pasta cheeses and an obvious choice in Italian regions where the cheese is produced. Also, it served as a good substitute for the expensive Parmigiano-Reggiano.

Other Italian cheeses:

Top photos from Twitter

Aug 23
The Sodo cheese plate - Caciocavallo, Smoked Ricotta, Pecorino with strawberry jam, sourdough bread on a bed of honey
Aug 21
experimental cooking: zucchini, summer squash, shrimp, lemon, bit of garlic&pepper & topped w/ grated pecorino cheese
Aug 17
Get the Pecorino Perfect Martini recipe + Win Free Cheese! Photo credit: @dreamaboutfood
Aug 17
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Aug 15
Tomatoes,roasted garlic, pecorino cheese! 2132 center st. Berkeley, ca. @Sliverpizzeria
Aug 15
@PastaPantry: Grana Padano Parmigiano, Pecorino Romano, Ricotta and Asiago: Mac N Cheese Heaven. #yeg #shpk” *Drool
Jul 25
Arugula salad with kumquat, blueberry, pecorino cheese, citrus vinaigrette in an almond tuile bowl #dinnersalad
Jul 25
Young Goat Cheese Matured Pecorino Blue Cheese Sardinian Gnocchi back in Stock! Available Saturday at @TPTFoodMarket
Jul 24
Not the 1st sheep's cheese producers, but @GrandveweCheese is a family affair. Smile, Pecorino @hurricaneevents
Jul 23
My cheese of the week is Berkswell a young Pecorino style cheese from the West Midlands. Delightful.
Jul 22
Dinner on a hot summer evening : Sautéed eggplant, tomatoes, sauce, & Pecorino Romano cheese
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