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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

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
Jul 22
How fun is this! Sipping a new to #yyc #Jasci&Marchesani pecorino wine w pecorino cheese from Pienza @MontisiMagica!
Jul 21
Ravioli with garden veggies and pecorino shaved cheese @borgodicarpiano Tasty beyond words
Jul 21
Lets go Norfolk Seasonal! Lobster Macaroni with Samphire, Trout Roe, Black Truffle and pecorino cheese! #wegotfungi
Jul 20
@HomeRunInn ultra thin cheese prepared with onions, jalapeño, oregano, basil and pecorino Romano cheese. OMG!
Jul 19
Raw Zucchinj with Basil Pesto Tomato sauce Pecorino Cheese & Oxtail & carrots The #Italians sure don't mess around 👍
Jul 19
Culinary Workshop joy: cooking with pecorino cheese, locally made!…
Jul 18
Recipe: Incredibly easy & utterly delicious pasta w walnuts, fresh herbs & pecorino cheese…
Jul 17
whoa MT @basil_winebar: Beer Bloody Mary with hardboiled eggie, house cured salmon, curby pickle, Pecorino cheese.
Jul 17
Local zucchini and cauliflower soup with basil and pecorino cheese is the soup of the day at Natural Epicurean!
Jul 17
Our famous porchetta panini with rocket salad, parmesan & balsamic dressing with pecorino cheese and chilli stuffing
Jul 15
PECORINO CROTONESE Hard Italian cheese Made from ewe's milk Goes well with cold dishes #haveapristineday
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