With the exception of the technically illegal Sardinian Casu Marzu cheese, this wedge of Pecorino di Fossa is the final Italian cheese on the food list that I had left to eat. I found this at the same place where I discovered the Culatello Di Zibello, but this is the first time that I’ve ever seen them selling this cheese. Quite the result, right?
Like all pecorino cheeses, Pecorino di Fossa is a hard cheese made using sheep’s milk. The second half of the name ‘di Fossa’ denotes that, unlike regular pecorinos, it was wrapped and buried in a hole covered with some sort of foliage for the duration of its maturation. This originally occurred as a means of hiding the cheese from potential thieves, but has since become a key part of the cheese-making process.
I’m guessing that it is this burial process that makes the big difference between Pecorino di Fossa and the other two pecorino cheeses (Romano and Fiore Sardo). Where those other pecorinos were both buttery and milder in nature, the Pecorino di Fossa has a far more complex flavour. As this is a more mature cheese there is the hint of a lactic bitterness to it that helps to undercut this otherwise sweet and tangy ewes milk cheese. It’s really one of those cheeses that’s probably better to enjoy as part of a cheeseboard than cooking with it. Definitely one to sample again if I ever see it being sold again.