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Pecorino Romano

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Pecorino Romano is a hard, salty Italian cheese, suitable primarily for grating, made out of sheep milk (the Italian word pecora, from which the name derives, means sheep).

Left: Pecorino Romano.

Pecorino Romano cheese, whose method of production was first described by Latin authors like Varro and Pliny the Elder about 2000 years ago, was first created in the countryside around Rome. Pecorino Romano was a staple in the diet for the legionaries of ancient Rome. Today, it is still made according to the original recipe and is one of Italy's oldest cheeses. It is used mostly in Central and Southern Italy.

Pecorino Romano is most often used on pasta dishes, like the better-known Parmigiano Reggiano (parmesan). Its distinctive aromatic, pleasantly sharp, very salty flavour means that in Italian cuisine, it is preferred for some pasta dishes with highly-flavoured sauces, especially those of Roman origin, such as bucatini all'amatriciana. The sharpness depends on the period of maturation, which varies from five months for a table cheese to at least eight months for a grating cheese.

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