After herding and milking sheep at the cheese factory Rionca (see webisode here), we are now ready to make Pecorino.
At this family cheese factory, everything is made by hand. Each day 20 liters of milk is gathered to make seven pounds of cheese. Our host Claudia takes us through this process. Watch our “How to Make Pecorino at Rionca” webisode to see it for yourself.
The most exciting part of your stay at Rionca is dining with the family. As they place dishes on the rustic dinner table overlooking the Alps, we can hardly believe our eyes.
We begin by tasting ricotta soup taken from cheese making process consisting of the solid cheese (curds) and liquid (whey). It is silky, fresh, and luxurious.
Next, Rionca’s fresh cheese. Lovingly drained in heart shaped containers, curds are drained and left to rest for 12 hours to achieve the correct acidity. Claudia tops the fresh cheese with coffee, rosemary, curry, chili, chives, and red peppercorn. Each bite speaks of spice and cream.
As the night lingers, the cheese gets even better. Now we sample aged Pecorino. Stronger with age, it is served with local honey and rose jam. This punchy Pecorino has an attitude. It fills us with robust blue. Exquisite.
Rionca cheese is available at farmers markets near the cheese factory outside of Torino, Italy. Visit www.rionca.it for more information.
To try something similar, go to your local cheese shop and ask for fresh sheep ricotta and aged Pecorino. Serve them in the ways listed above.
Thank you Rionca! Your gracious hospitality will never be forgotten.