The tradition of cheese in Sardinia
The tradition of cheese in Sardinia is ancient and important and the pecorino cheese exportations contributed to ensure this classic Made-In-Italy product.
It is a particular and ancient culture that makes Sardinia a one of its kind. There are millions of sheep that gaze the valleys of Sardinia. They spend time in the cooler mountains pastures in the summer and come down to low lying pastures each autumns.
Sardinian cheeses are so unique and flavoursome, it is an excellent souvenir to take home.
Sardinia was occupied by the Roman legions back at the end of the Punic war, and this tasty cheese was offered to the Empire by Sardinia shepherds. This special cheese would have enrich the tables of the Republic senator. Nowadays most of the milk used to make the Pecorino Romano comes from Sardinia.
During Medieval period, Sardinia, divided in four kingdoms, produced and exported cheese to Pisa and Genoa.
In the years the tradition and methods to produce this tasteful cheese has improved, and the Sardinian shepherds still want to keep the same way to graze the sheeps. The sheep freely graze on the beautiful Island still natural and without pollution where there are spontaneous medical herbs and different vegetation that give that particular perfume and taste to the particular cheeses produced in Sardinia.
The famous Sardinian Pecorino can be stored for long periods, recognised by the European Union as DOP (Denonimazione Controllata Protetta).
There are two types of Pecorino Sardo the sweet one, Pecorino Sardo dolce, which should be eaten a month of it being made. It is particular because is melts easily. The Pecorino Sardo mature, which has been matured from 2 months to a year, harder and with stronger flavour.
Sardinian Pecorino is the perfect food with fresh vegetables like lettuce. In Italy Sardinian Pecorino is great with pears, grapes and honey. It is fantastic with carasau bread, the typical Sardinian bread and go with local wines like the Cannonau, a red rich wine and the Vermentino, white and perfumed wine. r
There are also many other kind of cheeses in Sardinia that you should taste like the Fiore Sardo, one of the most distinctive pecorino, and other local cheeses like the caprine, casizolu made from cow’s milk, and a variety of ricotta made with sheep milk.
Next time in you are in Sardinia you should add a visit to one of the farmer’s market where you can taste the fragrant pastures of the typical cheese.