Typical cheeses of Sardinia
One of the most beautiful sea in the world, 1850 kilometers of coastline envelop and surround the island, but his identity is in the hinterland, between the intense scents of the mediterranean scrub and the rocks, and it is here in the countryside and in the mountains that we find the true soul of this island, its typical food and wine products. The livestock farming, primarily sheep, and cheese production are the identity of the island, its soul, its origins, because it is just the livestock farming that gave rise to cheeses such as the “Fiore Sardo“, a pecorino cheese aged in mountain caves and lightly smoked. In the Archaeological Museum of Cagliari we can find a bronze statue representing a shepherd with a ram on his shoulders, a testimony of this origin. It is the tradition that inspires the production of new cheeses and new dishes where cheese is the main ingredient: culurgiones (see post), sebadas, ravioli of potato and cheese .
Among the cheeses of Sardinia we want to show you:
- Axridda: to produce this ancient cheese, originally created in the village of Escalaplano, is used raw milk of sheep and goats. During the aging process (after at least three months of cheese maturation), it is covered with a layer of clay, hence the name. It is produced only during the months from January to May, has a cylindrical shape and each cheese shape weighs 2 to 4 kilos. Crumbly and semi-hard, its color varies from white to pale yellow, and its scent is rich of scent of hay, the taste is spicy, salty, sour and astringent. If you’re curious to try it, do not miss the “Sagra del formaggio Axridda, dell’olio di lentisco e dei prodotti tipici” a fair of food and wine products, which is held every year on the last Sunday of May !!!
- Casizolu di Montiferru: it is also called “peretta”(little pear in italian) because of its shape resembling that of a pear, and it is traditionally produced in Santu Lussurgiu(a village in the province of Oristano) using milk from cows which are kept throughout the year in the wild. It’s a spun curd cheese and its history has an aura of magic. It was born on top of an extinct volcano (see post on volcanic wines) of Sardinia and at producing it, only at night, are the women, and each family has its own recipe for the production of the Casizolu, that is been handed down from generation to generation . The producers of the “Associazione Produttori di Casizolu“, Slow Food Presidium, have a product specification that guarantees the entire supply chain.
- Pecorino di Osilo: this cheese is made from milk of sheeps of Sardinia. It is characterized by a pungent smell with hints of wood and dried herbs; the flavor is buttery with a hint of toasted hazelnut. With the processing of the buttermilk (whey) you get the “Ricotta Mustia“(smocked ricotta), a ricotta cheese with the shape of a flattened loaf, amber color and intense flavor, fresh and lightly smoked;in fact the word “mustia” is a sardinian word which refers to the smoking process, which occurs in the final stage of its preparation.We recommended to pair these cheeses with a bottle of “Cannonau di Sardegna” (see post) and a few slices of “pane carasau” (a sardinian bread, see posts 1 and 2)!
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GPS Coordinates of “Escalaplano” village: 39.622185, 9.34747
GPS Coordinates of “Osilo” village: 40.742885, 8.66638
GPS Coordinates of “Santu Lussurgiu” village: 40.142249, 8.657025
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