“CROCCOLONE” – Big Pecorino Cheese aged RESERVE
Croccolone is a big sized reserve cheese; this means we sell it only after a minimum ageing period of one year, which at times can reach two years or more.
This cheese is not always available; in fact we only produce it if the cheese we choose from is up to the standard we require for a reserve. Just like reserve wines, we pick only the best. The long ageing period may cause some superficial cracks on the cheese rind. These cracks may appear as a defect, but on the contrary it confirms that the cheese is made by hand, the process is artisanal rather than industrial.
The signs on the cheese show traces of the human hand, which produced and handled it including any errors.
Ingredients: pasteurized sheep MILK, live milk enzymes, kid rennet and salt. Rind surface is treated with oil and vinegar.
Weight: approximately 9 – 18 kg.
Packing: without wrapping (we can vacuum pack if requested).
Shelf life of packed product: 180 days (vacuum packed: 120 days).
ALLERGENS: MILK and MILK protein
SHAPE: cylindrical, with slightly rounded sides, about 14/17 cm thick while the flat surfaces are about 30/34 cm in diameter and weighs approximately 13-16 kg.
EXTERNAL FEATURES: displays a lined pattern as well as showing basket weave impressions on the surface. The colour can vary from a light brown to a dark brown, depending on its sweating while maturing, as well as the oil and vinegar treatment given to the crust while ageing.
INTERNAL FEATURES: it has a very pale yellow hard and crumbly paste. The undercrust is quite evident because of the particular ageing carried out “at natural temperature”, which means the cheese is not aged in refrigerated cells.
ODOR: it has a complex aroma displaying traces of cooked butter as well as having hints of nuts and flavours near the crust; it is also mildly earthy and with medium to high intensity smells of sheep and barn.
FLAVOUR: it has an intense slightly piquant flavour, which can increase with ageing, yet it is very pleasant and tasty.
Food Pairing: This great cheese is perfect for aperitivo on a cheese platter and as antipasto with cold cuts. It is also a wonderful dessert cheese. Excellent in the kitchen either in flakes over carpaccio or to make risotto and pasta dishes. It is sometimes displayed on a buffet or at a wine bar to be enjoyed with aperitivo.
Wine Pairing: it goes well with great wines like Brunello di Montalcino, Nobile di Montepulciano, Sassicaia and Amarone… as well as other great wines.