This sheep's milk cheese is made by the Caggiano-Summo family near the town of Forenza in the Basilicata region of Southern Italy. The family raises cows, sheep and goats, all of which graze on pasture, except during the coldest months of the year.
Their Pecorino Caggiano is also known as Pecorino di Forenza, and it comes in a variety of formats and ages (from 4kg to 40kg and from 3 months to 12 months). It is made using the raw milk of the razza merinizzate breed of sheep that is typical for the Basilicata and Puglia regions.
The company "Il Parco Della Bonta" Azienda Agricola Caggiano-Summo was started in 1974 by Michael Caggiano (who has since passed away), and is now run by the family matriarch Maria, and her children: Francesco, Lucia, Mario, Biagio and Marianna.
As a young cheese (about 4 months when we receive it), it has a rich sheep's milk flavor with hints of herbs, nuts, and fruit. When fully aged (anywhere from 10 to 12 months), it is crumbly, peppery, and fruit,y and works perfectly shaved over pasta or in a fresh arugula salad.
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Caring for Your Cheese
How much cheese should I buy?
We advise buying small quantities more frequently to avoid long term storage because the complex flavors and aromas of good cheese will change and degrade over time. For appetizer quantities and not much left over, we suggest 1/4 lb per person. For larger servings or if you'd like some left overs, we suggest a full 1/2 lb per person.
How should I serve my cheese?
You can serve any number of cheeses: a single magnificent chèvre or a large selection celebrating the diversity of aromas, flavors and textures found in various traditions around the world. Choose what you like and what you expect your audience will enjoy. We usually go for a selection of three to four cheeses with various milk types, textures and flavors.
Take your cheese out of the refrigerator an hour or so before serving. Just before serving, unwrap each cheese and scrape the cut surface with a knife edge to remove a thin layer. If you notice dried out parts or mold on the face of the cheese, cut it away.
Can I eat the rind?
Most cheeses have rinds and most rinds are edible. If you don’t like the taste or texture, cut it off.
What do I do about the mold on my cheese?
Cheese stored for some time may grow exterior molds. Typical molds will be white or blue-green but you can sometimes come across yellow or gray. Most of the time, you can refresh the cheese by cutting away those affected areas. The cheese underneath will be fine.
How do I store my cheese?
Store in a higher humidity area of your refrigerator - likely an enclosed spot which allows for limited airflow rather than constant drafts.
How do I wrap my cheese?
Use a clean wrap of the cheese paper, or, in a pinch use parchment (for softer cheeses) or aluminum foil (for firm to hard cheeses).
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