The highlight of Tuscany countryside dairies is the traditional Pecorino, protagonist in rustic cooking and made throughout the region, with the main seat being Pienza and certain towns in the Umbria and Lazio regions. As the name clearly shows, which indicates cheeses made from sheeps milk and other typical products from certain areas in Italy, it is made from pure sheeps milk and was first mentioned by the Latin man of letters Plinio the Elder in his monumental Natural History.
Back in the middle of the 19th century, Pecorino was made following a precise procedure with special techniques. In 1986 Tuscany Pecorino was awarded Denomination of Origin (DO), and must observe very strict production principles: it must have a soft or slightly firm texture and be made exclusively from full-cream milk from sheep that were fed exclusively on green fodder or hay that comes from natural pastures in the area, with the possible integration of other hay or simple concentrated fodder. A certified quality that is protected since 1996, when Pecorino was awarded the DOP mark (Denomination of Protected Origin).
Among the most distinguishing features are the yellow rind and the white-straw yellow cheese (of varying intensity depending on the texture), the slightly spicy but delicate flavour and the cylindrical shape with flat surfaces, measuring between 15 and 22 cm in diameter.
Tuscany Pecorino is a complete food, rich in noble proteins and various vitamins (A, B1, B12 and PP) and is a real delight served with honey or jam.