Robust Flavors of Southen Italy in Pecorino di Filiano
In her ongoing series with The San Francisco Chronicle, Janet Fletcher introduces us to Pecorino di Filiano, a traditional southern Italian cheese, made with sheep's milk and drained in baskets that leave deep striations in the rind. Lacking the typical sweetness of some sheep's milk cheeses, but with a flavor that remains robust yet approachable, try this cheese paired with a bold Italian red wine for a taste of la dolce vita.
For Lanza, whose grandfather was a cheese maker, the local pecorino is the taste of his childhood. Although he admits that he didn't like the robust cheese as a child, he has spent the past few years trying to raise its profile. About a year ago, Pecorino di Filiano - named for a village in the Potenza province of Basilicata - received its PDO from the European Union, the "protected designation of origin" status that defines how and where the cheese is made and safeguards its name.