Summer begins on June 21 but we are already in the throws of seasonal summer produce which can be eaten on its own or blended with cheeses and used in pasta. One of the great cheeses that work well with all of this summer produce is Pecorino.
It comes from sheep’s milk and is made in a host of regions in Italy including Sardinia, Sicily, Tuscany and Lazio. The cheese tastes slightly different in the various regions. Pecorino can be made into a fresh style cheese or into an aged or “stagionato” one. Sometimes peppercorns or truffles are added to the cheese to enhance the flavor. Pecorino can be a flavorful cheese or can be somewhat mild, it depends on the aging and the style of cheese you are buying.
Pecorino Romano is the most ubiquitous in the United States. It is quite salty. Much of the Pecorino that is made in Tuscany is made by Sardinians who emigrated there.
Pecorino can be used in salads, eaten on its own at the end of a meal, eaten with pears or used instead of Parmigiano on pasta. Pecorino is an extremely versatile cheese and a good one to keep in the refrigerator at all times.
By Susannah Gold