Filiano Pecorino Cheese
Pecorino di Filiano will be the first entirely Lucanian cheese to
be embellished with the Dop qualification. At the moment Pecorino di
Filiano has provisional protection on a national level, having been
recognised by the Ministry of Agricultural Policies.
There are thirty municipalities extending from Mount Grande of Muro Lucano to
Mount Li Foy, from Vulture to the Rendina dam and as far as the Forenza mountains that represent the best territory for producing this cheese with its sweet and delicate flavour and its just perfect spicy tang.
Filiano, from which the cheese takes its name, is a small town historically linked to the production of pecorino cheese.
The name of the town itself seems to stem from an abundance of spun wool, giving proof of sheep farming.
Pecorino is a hard cheese made from whole and unprocessed sheep’s milk.
The sheep’s diet must be based above all on grazing and fresh forage. Animalbased and GMO feed is strictly forbidden.
Pecorino di Filiano is mainly produced on an industrial level following
the traditional cheese-making techniques handed down from generation to generation.
Traditional tools are still used like the “scuopolo” or “ruotolo”, a wooden ladle used to break the curd, and the “fuscedd’”, the reed moulds in which the curd is placed to set.
After preparation, the pecorino cheeses mature for six months,
usually in tuff (volcanic rock) caves that have always been used for cheese making and seasoning.
The rind of the cheese may be treated with extra-virgin olive oil or wine vinegar.
Pecorino has a furrowed and slightly coloured rind and the cheeses weigh
between 2.5 and 5 kg.
Each one bears the consortium’s brand.
The cheese itself is yellow with tiny holes.
It is granular and crumbly with just the right aroma of sheep, grass and
roasted hazelnuts when well seasoned.
The taste is stronger if left to season longer.
Pecorino di Filiano is mainly served as a table cheese but, if mature, it can
certainly hold second place to the more well known Lucanian dishes like
homemade pasta with lamb ragù or lagane with chickpeas and beans.
Mature Pecorino as an accompaniment to Doc Aglianico del Vulture
wine is worth a mention.
The Pecorino Festival has been held at Filiano for many years, a real occasion to get to know this cheese and to taste it with many different accompaniments.