Appears in

Oxford Companion to Food

Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

  • About

pecorino the Italian name for a cheese made of sheep’s milk. In this sense it covers a wide range of cheeses, many of which are produced locally and only on a small scale.

Pecorino cheeses may be young and fresh, or aged and suitable for grating. The latter feature has given rise to a second, more specific meaning of the name: hard cheeses made from sheep’s milk in the central region of Italy and in Sardinia, where they play a similar role to that of the grana cheeses of N. Italy.

Many pecorino cheeses are small and disc shaped. With few exceptions they are heavily salted. Some have a patterned surface produced by a traditional mould of plaited straw, or by a metal copy designed to produce a similar pattern.