28 October 2010
Posted in Food Stories
To overlook a patchwork of fallow fields in early September, is still captivating to my eyes. This is the hilltop view from the renaissance town of Pienza, which dominates the Orcia Valley, south of Siena. It was only by chance that we had driven upon this charming small town whist turning off the highway in search of an evening's stay. Although Pienza was a first time visit for us, it is definitely not unknown; it is regarded as the capital of Pecorino cheese in the region.
This clayey zone makes it ideal for the sheep's pasture that typifies a diverse range of aromatic herbs. This gives the animal's milk its characteristics: white coloured, compact but soft and the aroma of sweet milk. When passing a cheese store during closing time in Pienza, you will be quickly reminded that you are whiffing some Pecorino cheese.
Its uses: cut fine and use on pears or on vegetables such as fennel or artichokes, or in an herb spaghetti dish as I have made here.