Sardinian cheese you must try
Sardinian cheeses are big business on this Italian island. There are more than 3,500,000 sheep, goats and cows, equaling a rich and varied industry in Sardinia. The sheep population makes up 40% of the total amount in Italy. This is 2.5 times the amount of people living on the island! It’s not surprising then, that Sardinian cheeses are in abundance, and the varieties are plenty.
Sheep and goats provide high-quality milk to produce Sardinian cheese, the most popular exports being pecorino and ricotta. However, they’re not the only ones worth trying when it comes to the battle of the cheeses.
The tastiest Sardinian cheeses
The most common variety of this Sardinian cheese is Fiore Sardo, also known as Pecorino Sardo. It’s a raw, hard cheese made from whole sheep’s milk that carries the title of DOP (Denominazione di Origine Protetta). This Sardinian cheese’s nutty and salty texture is widely used in pesto sauces, or freshly grated over pasta and salads.
Pecorino Sardo’s intensity can vary according to the length of maturation. The more mature pecorino is a perfect accompaniment with roast potatoes, sausages, fresh tomatoes and onions.
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Another classic, the Sardinian variety of ricotta is fresh sheep’s ricotta cheese, although the firmer version can also be grated.
The fresh variety’s typically white in colour, flaky and creamy. Therefore, it’s an ideal ingredient to use in savoury dishes like ravioli. It also works well in traditional Sardinian desserts.
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If you’re thinking about visiting Sardinia, why not consider joining a local tour? It’s a fun, low cost way of exploring the island, and great for solo travelers, families and couples.
Casizolu is one of Sardinia’s oldest dairy cheeses. Pear-shaped, white to pale yellow in colour, it’s made from whole cow’s milk,.
The cheese has been labelled as a Slow Food Presidium product, meaning it’s one of the world’s endangered heritage foods. Mature versions tend to be spicier in flavour. This Sardinian cheese is also widely used in a classic delicacy, sebadas.
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“There are more than 3,500,000 sheep, goats and cows, equaling a rich and varied industry in Sardinia.”
Sardinian cheeses – Casu Marzu (maggot cheese)
‘Maggot cheese’ (Casu Marzu) is a Sardinian delicacy, and unsurprisingly, it won’t be to everyone’s taste! Live insect larvae ferments the cheese to an extreme degree, giving Casu Marzu a softer consistency as it develops flavour.
The locals can’t get enough of this stuff, so be brave and give it a go. If all else fails, just fill up on the bread that is also typically served with the cheese.
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Sardinian cheeses – Casu Axedu
Another soft cheese, without any live insect larvae, Casu Axedu is made from sheep or goats’ milk. Synonyms of the cheese’s name also differ depending on the region of the island. Variations include Fruhe, Frughe and Merca.
Sour in taste, this Sardinian cheese is produced in small rectangular shapes and also is normally eaten fresh. Mature varieties tend to be salty and spicy in flavour, making them ideal ingredients for soups and pasta fillings.
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Other noteworthy Sardinian cheeses to try also include Casu Friscu, Fresa and Gioddu.
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