Ragusano is a stretched-curd cow’s milk cheese made on the Hyblean Plateau, where the cattle graze on rich fragrant pastures. Its origin is tied to the historic farming of the native Modicana cattle breed in the region, today at risk of extinction. Some cheesemakers, including one producer that is a member of the Slow Food Presidium, still produce it today using only the milk from Modicana cows.
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It has rectangular shape, made up of two square sections, with rounded edges and a weight of between 12 -16 kilograms. The rind is thin, soft and compact, and is golden yellow or straw colored, becoming brown with aging. The cheese is white to pale-yellow, with a compact structure and cracks that appear when the cheeses are hung by thick ropes for a minimum of four months. Ragusano is also sold as Cosacavaddu Ibleo, which is the same cheese produced outside of the PDO (protected denomination of origin) area.
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