“Foglia Noce” – Pecorino Refined with Walnut leaves in “orci”
Walnut gives a distinctive either intense or delicate aroma and at the end of the refining period that is what can be truly appreciated when tasting this sheep milk cheese. The Affineur decides on quantity of walnut leaves, refining period, micro-climate and other elements to reach an unforgettable end result.
Some legends say that walnut leaf pecorino was created when tenant farmers and shepherds hid the cheese from landowners, to avoid dividing it with them. In fact, they would hide the cheese in old terracotta “ziri” (big terracotta olive oil containers) and cover them with walnut leaves.
This preservation process which has now become a refining process was one of the ways used in the past to preserve cheese for a longer period. Walnut leaves placed in these sealed terracotta containers prevented the cheese from dehydrating. When cheese makers did not have grottoes or other appropriate places in which to age the cheese, they looked for alternative ways of preservation using what they could and what nature offered. Walnut leaves confer a strong and particular flavour to Pecorino.
Ingredients: pasteurised sheep MILK, live milk enzymes, rennet and salt. Rind surface is treated with walnut leaves.
Weight: Approximately 1.3 Kg.
Packing: vacuum packed.
Shelf life of packed product: 120 days.
ALLERGENS: MILK and MILK protein
SHAPE: cylindrical with flat surfaces, semi-flat to slightly rounded sides and sharp edges.
EXTERNAL FEATURES: the light brown rind is slightly wrinkled, soft and moist due to the vacuum packaging. Traces of mold and walnut leaves remain from the refining process.
INTERNAL FEATURES: the paste is chalky and pure white to a very pale yellow with a darker undercrust, without eyes.
ODOR: the cheese has a strong smell of vegetation ranging from moss to wood cuttings as well as fermented grass and woodland undergrowth.
FLAVOUR: delicate and sweet as well as slightly salty, good persistence. It is grainy and crumbly when eaten.
Availability: all year.
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.