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12 Facts About Pecorino

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Pecorino cheese is a popular choice for food enthusiasts and cheese lovers alike. This delightful dairy product has been around for centuries, originating from Italy. Here are twelve fascinating facts about this delicious cheese:

  1. Type of Cheese: Pecorino comes from the Italian word “pecora,” which translates to sheep in English. Therefore, pecorino is a type of sheep’s milk cheese.

  2. Variations: Pecorino has many variations across Italy, each with unique flavors and textures. Some popular versions include Pecorino Romano, Pecorino Sardo, and Pecorino Tuscano.

  3. Age Matters: Like most cheeses, the aging process can significantly impact pecorino’s flavor profile. Younger pecorinos tend to be milder in taste, while older ones develop a stronger, more robust flavor.

  4. Health Benefits: Pecorino is rich in calcium and protein but low in lactose, making it suitable for those with lactose intolerance.

  5. History Dates Back to Ancient Times: The production of pecorino dates back thousands of years to ancient Roman times when shepherds would make cheese from their sheep’s milk.

  6. Legendary Origin Story: According to legend, the recipe for Pecorino Romano was created by a humble shepherd named Marco who accidentally left his cheese out in the sun too long, resulting in a different texture and taste than other cheeses of its time.

  7. Pecorino Romano’s Protected Status: In 1996, Pecorino Romano was granted a protected designation of origin (DOP) status within the European Union to protect its quality and authenticity.

  8. Perfect for Grating: Due to its hard texture, pecorino is an excellent cheese for grating over pasta dishes or salads. Its salty, sharp flavor enhances many savory meals.

  9. Not Just a Cheese: In Italy, the term “pecorino” can also refer to white wine made from the Trebbiano grape variety. A refreshing summer drink that pairs well with pecorino cheese!

  10. Uses in Italian Cuisine: Pecorino is commonly used in various Italian dishes such as lasagna, carbonara, and gnocchi. It also pairs wonderfully with olives, cured meats, and crusty bread.

  11. Cheese or Cosmetics?: Sheep’s milk has been used for centuries not only to make cheese but also in cosmetic products like soap and shampoo due to its nourishing properties.

  12. Global Fame: Pecorino Romano gained international fame after it was featured in the popular American sitcom “Friends.” In one episode, Joey Tribbiani’s best friend, Chris, refers to him as a “smelly cat” because of his love for stinky cheeses like Pecorino Romano.

In conclusion, pecorino is not just any cheese – it’s an essential part of Italian culture and cuisine. Whether you enjoy its bold flavor on top of pasta or prefer using it to enhance your favorite dishes, there’s no denying that this delicious dairy product deserves its place in the spotlight. Buon appetito!


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