Pecorino Romano, one of our most ancient cheeses, its roots can be traced back to ancient Rome. An old yet reliable recipe it remains one of our personal favorites and one of the most popular outside Italy to this day. One of only four Pecorino cheeses to have been granted PDO (Protected Designation of Origin) under European Union law, Pecorino Romano is truly one of the greats.
Made from 100% sheep's milk cheese, Pecorino Romano is a hard, crumbly cheese with a rich and complex flavor profile. Produced consistently through ages and empires, today Pecorino is still made following very much the same traditional techniques as have been used for centuries. Dry-salted by hand, the cheese is aged for 8-12 months, giving it a sharp, salty flavor, crumbly consistency, and light straw color. As a result, it's well suited for grating and melting onto pasta, pizzas, bread, and other dishes, making it an excellent substitute for Parmigiano-Reggiano or Parmesan.
Firm in texture and growing more delicious with age, Pecorino Romano starts rubbery and pliable with a sweet and mild flavor. With age, the flavor starts to become sharper, more complex, and distinctly smokey. The texture, in turn, grows firmer and more crumbly and develops those fantastic crystalized granules of salt we all know and love. At around the eight months, Pecorino has reached its sweet spot, continuing to heighten in all its favorable qualities until the year mark is reached.
A bold alternative to Parmesan, try grating Pecorino over your next casserole or pasta dish for a hit of umami flavor. Not to be confused with the milder-tasting Pecorino Toscano (which is another Italian sheep's milk cheese), reserve its subtle tastes for your cheese plates, snacking, or grilling. Pecorino Romano is instead best thought of as a savory punctuation to your dishes, use it judiciously.