A couple of months ago we travelled to San Patrignano in Rimini (on Italy’s Adriatic Coast) with the intention of finding some new Pecorino cheese for us to sell.
What we found was overwhelming. San Patrignano is a wonderful community dedicated to the fight against drugs. Since its inception in 1978 they have helped over 18000 young people with their problems. They do fantastic work but we have discovered they also make some fantastic cheese (amongst other things).
They invited us to have lunch with them and gave us a variety of different Pecorino cheeses to taste. We chose four, two of which are:
Pecorino in Vinacce (pictured), a pecorino which is steeped in the seeds and skins of grapes left from wine-making. You can taste the wine!
Pecorino in Fieno, meaning in hay. This is a traditional custom and it gives the cheese a wonderful herby taste.
At just so ITALIAN we are always looking for products which are special, different and with a story. We think we definitely succeeded with these new Pecorino cheeses. Why not have a look at our website at http://www.justsoitalian.co.uk/acatalog/Formaggi.html
If you would like to read more about the work of San Patrignano check out their website at www.sanpatrignano.org
This week I managed to escape the kitchen and fit in a quick trip to Italy: it’s just not fair that the boys always seem to have all the fun on their buying trips so we decided to go for ‘research’.
Yesterday we took my father-in-law’s 28-year-old Fiat 126 (which some people might call an old banger but I prefer to use the word ‘vintage’), for a run into the countryside to visit Caseficio Piandelmedico, one of our cheese suppliers.
This farm, home to 250 buffalos and numerous cows, is run by chief cheese-maker Giulia and her brother Antonio who takes care of the livestock. Together they produce an incredible range of buffalo milk cheeses and yoghurts as well as homemade jams and marmalades.
Their reputation is well-known throughout Le Marche as was evident by the huge number of customers that were packed into their shop while we were visiting. And that was only a normal Thursday afternoon: I can’t imagine what a weekend might look like. It took all my will power not to disappear into a corner with a pile of cheese and one of the demijohns of Verdicchio that lined the walls of the shop whilst waiting to meet Giulia for a chat!
Forever inventing and producing new kinds of cheese, Giulia is currently working on some ‘Formaggio di Fossa’, which involves leaving a 2-month old cheese to mature in underground holes for a further 3 months to produce a wonderfully earthy flavour. Hopefully, if they don’t sell out within a week as they did last year, we will have some available on the website in time for Christmas. In the meantime, as well as a range of flavoured cheese, why not try the spectacular Stilton-like ‘Dadoni di Bufala’, a flavourful blue cheese made with buffalo milk, just crying out to be spread onto warm crusty bread and washed down with some Rosso Piceno.
(Alison – Oct 16th)