Ricotta Forte, known locally as ricotta ascquante (fiery ricotta), is obtained from leftover fresh goat’s, ewe’s and cow’s milk ricotta made in wintertime, from November to March. The leftover ricotta is collected in capase, large clay containers that can hold about 50 kilograms each. The mass is kneaded on wooden boards and transferred periodically from one capasa to another. This procedure breaks up the lumps that form during fermentation. In early June, the Ricotta Forte is ready for the tasting. The initial sampling takes place on the farms on harvest day. If the product passes this taste test, revealing an aroma of fresh grass and a slightly tangy flavour, it is transferred into smaller capase that hold about 20 kilograms. It will stay in these containers for about a year. Ricotta Forte from the hills near Brindisi, which contains a higher proportion of goat’s milk, is particularly sought-after. It features a fatty, soft, creamy body, brownish-white in colour and is typical of the hills around Brindisi, the province of Lecce and some areas in the provinces of Taranto and Bari.
The traditional products, local breeds, and know-how collected by the Ark of Taste belong to the communities that have preserved them over time. They have been shared and described here thanks to the efforts of the network that that Slow Food has developed around the world, with the objective of preserving them and raising awareness. The text from these descriptions may be used, without modifications and citing the source, for non-commercial purposes in line with the Slow Food philosophy.