Pecorino Sardo PDO
This way three types of cheese were made: White, Fine Red and Smoked, the ancestors of the present-day Pecorino Sardo. Certified with Protected Designation of Origin since 1996, today it continues to be made exclusively in Sardinia using whole milk from sheep belonging to autochthonous breeds.
It is made in the Mild and Mature types and in both cases the Standards of Production require the use of milk, sometimes inoculated with milk enzymes, with the addition of liquid calf rennet. The semi-cooked curd which is produced is broken down into rough grains (Pecorino Sardo Dolce) or very fine grains (Pecorino Sardo Stagionato) and transferred into cylindrical moulds from which the whey will drain away. The subsequent salting may be dry or in brine, whilst the ageing process requires different times for the two types of cheese.
Pecorino Sardo Dolce DOP is aged for at least 60 days, has a soft, white and compact paste with a mild and aromatic flavour. The matured type is characterized by a rather consistent paste, tending towards straw yellow in colour and with a slightly sharp taste. In some cases, the cheeses undergo a natural smoking process which gives them an even more characteristic and well defined flavour.