The traces of an important pastoral civilization, which practiced transhumance (the seasonal migration of livestock) can still be found in the Sibillini Mountains (Central Italy).
In recent years, however, the presence of shepherds in these mountain areas has significantly diminished. Guardians of techniques and knowledge, they were the ones who began making a local sheep’s cheese (Pecorino) from raw milk. According to tradition, the curd was semi-cooked and the cheeses were aged naturally, turned every two or three days to encourage the formation of the rind. They can be eaten after just a couple of months, though they are best when aged at least 100 days.
The Presidium unites small-scale producers with cheesemaking facilities and is working to set up an association that can differentiate and identify the Sibillini Mountains Pecorino, which is produced according to a strict production protocol. The milk must be produced by the cheesemakers and processed raw and artisanally and the cheese must age in a natural environment.
Sibillini Mountains, Ascoli Piceno, Macerata and Perugia Provinces
Cheesemaking from spring, after the weaning of lambs, until October