Firm and granular, yet glossy. Sheep milk's leap towards immortality.
Country of Origin: Italy
Milk Type/Treatment: Pasteurized Sheep
Rennet Type: Animal rennet
The Flavor Experience
Pecorino Romano is a savory warrior delivering sharp thrusts of sea salt, umami, and seasoned meat to the palate with a lingering zest at the finish. Its firm, granular paste maintains a glossy mouthfeel as a result of the incredible richness and abundance of butterfat content in the sheep’s milk it is produced from. This cheese transcends the ages—it is as relevant to the contemporary dinner table as it was to ancient Roman banquets.
Pecorino Romano is one of the earliest recorded cheeses. Roman soldiers were given rations of it on voyages and details of its production were expounded upon by Pliny the Elder and Hippocrates 2,000 years ago. Central and Southern Italy’s answer to Parmigiano and Grana Padano, this tangy grating cheese lends itself to robust, savory dishes. Though Pecorino Romano was traditionally produced in the Lazio region surrounding Rome, its high demand called for an expansion of its production to regions with similar terroir and breeds of sheep, including Tuscany and Sardinia. It is produced seasonally between November and June and lamb rennet is traditionally used as the milk coagulant. The wheels are dry-salted by hand during the 8-12 month aging process and its firm, granular texture is a result of bringing the curds to a high temperature during production. Pecorino Romano's distinctly sharp, zesty flavor profile is owed to the lamb lipase enzyme present in the rennet, which breaks milk-fats down into free fatty acids that then bind to form robust aroma and flavor compounds.
Pecorino Romano is traditionally paired with fresh fava beans from the Roman Campagna and used to flavor robust pasta dishes like cacio e pepe and sauces like amatriciana and carbonara. Try with a dollop of Rhododendron honey and candied nuts or a smooth, malty stout.