This is a unique pecorino, because it is made with pig’s rennet (the only cheese of it’s kind in Italy and maybe the world), which gives it a distinctive smell and flavor. Making cheese with pig’s rennet has a very old history, with "Vestini cheese, made with pig’s rennet, already known in Roman times.
In the past, Farindola was a densely populated town with large sheep stocks as a result of its very extensive public pastureland. Its cheese was sold at the biggest markets of Penne and Loreto Aprutino, where it was highly prized.
It is still produced today in very small quantities in a small area on the eastern slopes of the Gran Sasso massif, mainly within the Gran Sasso and Monti della Laga National Park, and it is produced only by women, who hand down the recipe from generation to generation.
The milk comes from hand-milked sheep that are reared in the wild for a large part of the year. The cheese is produced by curdling the milk, which is heated to 35°C, and breaking the curd into tiny pieces (about the size of a grain of corn). It is then taken out of the cauldron and put into wicker baskets, which create the characteristic pattern on the surface of the cheese. After dry salting, which happens within 48 hours, the cheese is left to rest in old wooden chests where it is ripened for at least 40 days and for up to one year. The crust, which is regularly anointed with a mixture of extra-virgin olive oil and vinegar, takes on saffron yellow or brown hue, which is streaked by the wicker baskets in which it is placed in the draining phase. The paste is grainy, straw yellow in color and slightly moist, even when the cheese has matured for a long time, which is a result of the rennet and the production method. The moistness gives the cheese a slightly musky aroma (notes of fungus, noble rot and dry wood) and it is extraordinarily mellow in the mouth, with a fine balance of strong flavors and a the taste of sheep’s milk.
Farindola pecorino is produced all year round. The minimum ripening period established by the Presidium's production standards is three months.
Production has only continued as a result of a handful of families passing on traditions.
The Presidium, involving seven producers, has safeguarded and reinvigorated production of this unique cheese. The main aims of the Presidium are to produce the cheese, promote the area and consolidate production. The producers are united in a Consortium, guaranteeing that production standards are upheld.
Municipality of Farindola and other neighboring municipalities (provinces of Pescara and Teramo).
Consorzio per la tutela
del Pecorino di Farindola
via San Rocco, 1
tel. and fax 085 823133
Contrada Colle Paglierone, 2
tel. 085 8236022
tel. 085 8215052
Contrada Colle Paglierone, 2
tel. 329 6584204
Ivana Di Marcantonio
Contrada S. Eusanio
tel. 0861 995578
Contrada Case Bruciate
tel. 085 823443
Masserie del Parco
tel. 0861 1855863 - 366 2098950
tel. 085 8236057
Tel. 360 314336
Slow Food Presidium Producers’ Coordinator:
tel. 366 2098950