Venaco (Venachese) is a washed rind cheese produced from raw, whole sheep’s milk, though some shepherds use goat’s milk. It is produced in the mountainous regions of Haute Corsica using natural rennet. The name of the cheese is derived from a village called Venaco in the centre of the island.
This Corsican cheese is matured for 1-2 weeks before dipping in brine and left to mature in a moist cheese cellar. The rind of the cheese is red-orange, while the inside reveals a soft ivory pate. A 1-2 days matured cheese can sometimes be used for cooking, but essentially, 2-3 months matured Venaco makes a perfect addition to a cheese platter. An intensely mature Venaco can be used as a grating cheese on pasta and soups.
The aroma of Venaco is complex, complemented by a strong, melt-in-the-mouth taste. In early May, a great place to try Corsican cheeses is at the Venaco cheese fair, A Fiera di U Casgiu.