The Pecorino delle Balze Volterrane is the pride of a Tuscan dairy that specializes in sheep milk cheeses â€“ Fattoria Lischeto. The recipe for this cheese is drawn from the experience of Sardinias shepherds. The cheeses are ripened for 60 days at a cool temperature before transferring them into barriques where they acquire a full flavor and their characteristic aroma. They are then treated with olive and holm-oak ashes. This helps to slow down the natural process of mold formation and it helps to maintain the optimal moisture level that enhances the ripening.
These Pecorinos just arrived here recently, meaning that they were produced this past spring. Think of it â€“ spring in Tuscany â€“ quite a lovely scene full of grasses, legumes, flowers and fruit trees. All this should make for some very tasty milk. We fell in love with this cheese the first time we tasted it and this batch is even better!
Last night we tasted this cheese alongside three wines at a Cheese & Wine 101. The first wine was an Arneis from the Piedmont of northwest Italy. Because this varietal can be a little difficult to grow it became known by the name â€œArneisâ€ meaning the â€œlittle rascal.â€ The wine had a delicate acidity which is typical of the wines produced by this grape. It also had floral notes and a touch of apricot and peach in the aroma, delicious. The second wine was a Chardonnay, though not a bad match it was not a particularly good match either. The third wine was a MourvÃ¨dre from California. Most frequently associated with the RhÃ´ne Valley of southeast France, the MourvÃ¨dre is often used as a blending grape, with a special affinity for Grenache. The Arneis and the MourvÃ¨dre made the perfect complements for the Pecorino delle Balze Volterrane.
Besides being a tasty cheese it is also an especially nutritious one. Some people often use Pecorini for cooking. With this cheese I see no reason to do that; it is simply delicious on its own, and especially when it is accompanied with an appropriate wine, such the Arneis or the MourvÃ¨dre. A little bit of Pecorino delle Balze Volterrane goes a long way.
Posted by Artisanal Cheese