Monday, February 10, 2014

Sicilian primosale & pecorino cheese: something to be proud of!

Primosale from Sicilformaggi, Santa Ninfa

Do you know what is 'tuma or primosale'? With these words we indicate the first two aging phases of one of the most traditional and sublime Sicilian sheep cheese, widely known with the generic term of PECORINO, which is actually the last phase of ageing. 

You can have it plain with some bread or you can put it in your cooked dishes (baked pasta, stuffed bell peppers, parmigiana, potato gateaux... just to name a few.) There are also many versions of primosale, the most common ones are with black pepper, chilli pepper, olives and pistaches (as you can see in the picture below.)


So let's explore a bit more this fascinating world of Sicilian local cheese and how it is actually produced: first we have the tuma, the fresher and unsalted cheese, second comes the primosale or fresh pecorino, which literally means "first salt" because it's the very first salting, third there is the secondosale or semi-aged pecorino (second salting) and last but not least the aged
pecorino.

Times for each phase are obviously different, tuma can lasts around one week, if we put the salt it will become primosale after a month. With the second salting we will have the secondosale in 4 months and finally the pecorino after a much longer period. 

Sicilians usually love cheese, but they are particularly crazy about this one, as it is a delicate and unique mix of flavour and perfect texture. I personally adore it whether it is fresh or melted with a sprinkle of oregano on top. I could eat it every single day of my life! So... I hope you will get the chance to try it and judje by yourself.

These beautiful pictures come from the Sicilformaggi.it website, a Sicilian cheese factory located in Santa Ninfa, in the province of Trapani. 

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