Pecorino Toscano PDO is a soft or semi-hard cheese produced with whole sheep’s milk, in two typologies: Fresco (Fresh) and Stagionato (Mature).
The production area of Pecorino Toscano PDO is within the Tuscany region and in some municipal areas of Viterbo and Perugia, respectively in the regions of Lazio and Umbria.
It is said that the breeding of sheep in Tuscany dates back as far as the Etruscan period, but the first historical references to Pecorino Toscano PDO are from the Roman period. In the XV century it was known by the name of cacio marzolino (March cheese) because production began in March and continued throughout the Spring. This cheese has been produced according to specific guidelines since the XIX century.
Pecorino Toscano PDO has a cylindrical shape, flat surfaces, with a slightly convex edge and a weight varying between 0.75 to 3.50 kg. It is characterised by a yellow rind, the tone of which depends on the treatments carried out. The cheese is compact, soft on cutting and white in colour, slightly straw coloured for the Fresh typology, tender on cutting and with the possible presence of minute eyes, which are not evenly distributed in the Mature cheese. It has a fragrant and pronounced flavour, depending on the production methods.
The product is marketed as Pecorino Toscano PDO Fresco (soft cheese, ripened 20 days); Pecorino Toscano PDO Stagionato (semi-hard, ripened four months). It is sold year-round, whole, in large pieces, and in pre-packed slices. The edge must bear the product logo in ink on the fresh cheese, and fire-branded on the mature one.
Pecorino Toscano PDO is characterised by its sweet flavour, which is never sapid or piquant. This particular attribute is given to the use of calf rennet in the processing method and the briefer salting process compared to other varieties of pecorino cheese.
Pecorino Toscano PDO is best conserved in a cool, dry place. It is preferable not to put it in the fridge, but if so, it should be placed in the least cold compartment and wrapped in a slightly damp cotton cloth. This product can be used as a table cheese or for grating, depending on how mature it is. It is excellent for grating on Tuscan Ribollita soup, pasta dishes, or to add flavour to meat-based dishes. Fresh or mature, it pairs well with fresh seasonal vegetables or fruit, jam and honey. Pecorino Toscano PDO goes well with white or red wines depending on its age.
PDO (Protected Designation of Origin)(ES). Protected designation of origińe (PDO) stands for a product for which the principal steps for production are done following a well-established technique within the same geographical area, which gives the product its characteristics. Year of registration 1996
401 - 442 kcal per 100 gr.
24 - 25 gr. per 100 gr.
33 - 35.7 gr. per 100 gr.
1.75 gr. per 100 gr.
7,5 - Individual visits per month (average)
260 - All individual visits
18 08 2016 - Date of publication of this article
24 01 2017 - Date of last edit