“This image shows the sheep grazing at Lischeto with the exposed “balze” in the background. They just introduced a unique younger pecorino called “velathri” for which the milk is warmed to just 30 °C. Lischeto always seems to make cheeses of high quality and unique character.”
Pecorino Balze Volteranne, from Fattoria Lischeto in Tuscany. Made in the shadow of the Balze di Volterra, or Cliffs of Volterra, for which it is named. A raw sheep’s milk organic Pecorino, it’s aged in oak barrels for 60 days, after which the rind is covered with a thick coating of oak and olive ash — hence the gray dusting on the cheese slate in the picture, as the ash shakes off liberally when you handle the cheese. The ash serves to slow down mold development on the rind, as well as retain moisture.
With a firm, lightly eyed paste which has a bit of the oil associated with sheep’s milk hard cheeses, in flavor it is on the mild side but with a full nuttiness and musky, lipase notes. The Balze Volteranne uses a vegetable coagulant of wild artichoke, which gives it a slight but pleasant vegetal bitterness. The ash imparts a distinct flavor, a smoked, woody oakiness that fuses with the flavors of the paste beautifully.
Purchased at Foragers in DUMBO.