“Affienato” – Pecorino Refined in Wooden Barrels with Hay

While our society tends to be based on “disposable” items, the world of agriculture has always considered recycling a normal day to day operation. This world is not too far from us and is worth looking at. This cheese is placed in “caratelli” those small oak barrels of about 100 lt. which first carry precious Vin Santo or other such wines and are then used by us like small “treasure chests” to make our precious pecorino even more precious.
We fill these small barrels with hay and cheese following the Affineur’s instructions. The cheese released from this refining process after a long maturing period truly stands out and will appeal to the palate of the most demanding cheese lovers. On 2010 he has won 3° place at “San Lucio Trophy”

Ingredients: pasteurised sheep MILK, live milk enzymes, rennet and salt. The rind surface is treated with hay.
Weight: Approximately 1.3 Kg.
Packing: vacuum packed.
Shelf life of packed product: 120 days.

ALLERGENS: MILK and MILK protein

Cheese characteristics:
SHAPE: it is cylindrical but both sides and flat surfaces are quite irregular as a consequence of the refining process.
EXTERNAL FEATURES: the light hay to sand yellow rind is quite hard, wrinkled with mold and bits of hay and grass on it.
INTERNAL FEATURES: the paste is chalky, between pure white and a very light yellow and the undercrust is darker. The eyes are uneven in size and distribution. There may also be small deposits of fat which dissolved during fermentation and then solidified again (a typical feature of this type of ageing).
ODOR: scents of melted butter and fermented hay of medium to high intensity.
FLAVOUR: balanced, slightly salty but sweet. It crumbles and melts in the mouth. Good persistence.

Availability: limited.
Food Pairing: it is great on a cheese platter, as antipasto as well as for a tasting of pecorino cheeses.
Wine Pairing: with full bodied and well-structured red wines.

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