Marche food: cheese

Marche cheeses

The gastronomy of the Marches reflects the Piceno origin of the population yet has seen the acceptance of the most disparate traditions, as documented by the wide variety of dishes offered. Even in the IVth century a.D. , the renowned Apicio compiled texts regarding roman cuisine, but it was not until the height of the Middle Ages that the first collection of recipes from the Marches was made.

The area of the Park of the Sibillines is rich in natural beauty, but it is also a very important center for fresh produce.

Cheese represents a very active market in the zone surrounding Vettore Mountain, as many months of the year, flocks of sheep and bovine graze in these pastures.

Over time, the cheese-making industry has made little change. The rennet is made in the same way it always has been, using the stomach lining of the goats and lambs.

The sheep milk cheese (pecorino) from the Sibilline area is highly sought out in the old towns and farmhouses.

A type of cheese produced by individual farmers using strictly traditional techniques is produced in Comunanza.

The Marches’ dairy production is not very wide and it is specialized only in some typical kinds of cheese, such as ricotta, caciotte, fairly salty pecorino, which can be eaten also either young (form December to May) or seasoned (during the whole year).

Sometimes the dairy processes employ empirical methods, bringing forth a most genuine and savory cheese. The “Pecorino” cheese has to be considered a typical product of the Marches.

During the last decade, in the hinterland of Jesi, a repopulation of shepherds from Sicily and Sardinia has been taking place; they have given new strength to the sheep rearing and, as a direct consequence, to the dairy production.

The “Verdicchio- pecorino (seasoned) marriage” joins together harmoniously smells and tastes.

This cheese is perfect with a well-structured Verdicchio, produced in selected areas according to the traditions.

Courtesy of Il Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi