Sicilian pecorino is thought to be Europe’s oldest cheese, and it was certainly the first cheese to be made on the island. The cheesemaking process involves heating raw whole sheep’s milk and adding lamb rennet. Grate it over soups, salads, and pastas.
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The curd is broken with a rotula into lentil-sized pieces that are then placed into the fiscelle, some of which are still made from woven cane. Before salting the cheese is called Tuma; after dry-salted, for around ten days, it is called Primo Sale; and later, following further applications of salt, it is called Second Sale (2 weeks to 2 months), then semi-aged (2-4 months) and aged (more than 4 months). It is produced across the island, with just slight modifications to the production methods depending on the region, such as adding whole black peppercorns (pecurinu pipatu in dialect).