Abbucciato Aretino

Ark of taste
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Abbucciato Aretino is a pecorino cheese made from raw milk in the area of Arezzo, and in particular in the Casentino area. The name Abbucciato Aretino comes from its characteristic rind that, with aging, leaves a dark tough undercrust. Its origins are very ancient, and Camaldolese texts from as early as the 11th century indicate its use by monks at the Casentino hermitage.The rind has a clean appearance and the paste, which ranges in color from milky white to straw yellow according to the aging period, has a quite pronounced undercrust and irregular holes typical of raw milk processing (i.e. not subjected to boiling).As the milk is unpasturized, its organoleptic qualities are displayed in the cheese, including aromas of grassy pastures and woodland undergrowth.The cheese also has aromas of sheep’s milk and leather.?In the mouth the cheese is soft, supple and soluble; the flavor has a pleasant sweet note that ends with an enjoyable pungent bitter taste. The retronasal sensation is of milk and dry leaves.The cheesemaking process starts by heating the milk to 36°C and adding animal rennet. When the curd has formed, it is broken into small pieces the size of rice grains. After a brief resting period, the curd is extracted and placed into fuscelle (molds).The pecorino is then salted and matured in suitable premises for at least 30 days.The cheeses are matured on pine tables for the first two days, after which they are moved to a cellar at 12°C. The rounds are turned twice a day and are brushed every three days. Abbucciato Aretino can be sold as a fresh cheese after 30 days or a matured cheese at 60 days.Each cheese round weights between 1.2 to 2 kg and generally has low sides of around 6-8 cm. Before being sold, Abbucciato Aretino pecorino must be subject to controls and have the trademark affixed, which identifies the farm with a code.Today six producers in the province of Arezzo belong to the Abbucciato Aretino Consortium. Despite the fact that in 2006 the province of Arezzo decided to invest in the recovery of this product, today there are only two or three producers who comply with the specifications, and only one of these merits a mention as the others produce large quantities of a low-quality product.

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