Pecorino Sardo/"Reggiato" Sardo - another name?
- MMRuth Apr 2, 2008 01:06 PM
So, last fall I started cooking from a Sardinian cookbook, and went to Arthur Avenue in search of Pecorino Sardo. I came away with the most amazing cheese, which resembled aged Parmigiano Reggiano in color and texture, but almost richer. After very quickly going through a huge chunk of it, I tried to find it at both Murray's and DiPalo - Murray's had nothing by that name, and what I got at DiPalo was a pale comparison. Though, what I got at DiPalo looks a lot like the cheese shown here:
So, today, I finally got back to Mike's on Arthur Avenue where I'd bought this originally, and was helped by the absolutely wonderful older man working there, with the most glorious blue eyes and white hair (http://www.arthuravenue.com/index.jsp - looks like it was Michele Greco, one of the founders). I ordered guanciale, and he started speaking to me in Italian, which is amusing because I don't speak Italian. (He later asked if I was Sicilian, which was also amusing, because my coloring bears little resemblance to that typically associated with Sicilians!) I then ordered the Pecorino Sardo, and he gave me a quizzical look, and said something that I took to mean that Pecorino is not/can't be Sardo, and had me try the Fiore Sardo, which I knew wasn't it. But, I saw a wheel next to it that looked like the cheese I'd had before, and he said, ah, (I think!) "Reggiato Sardo". I tasted, and it certainly is what I had before.
So, I'm hoping someone out there might enlight me further, as googling "Reggiato Sardo" and spelling variations thereof didn't get me anywhere!
Edit - a link to a post w/ photos of the original cheese bought on Arthur Avenue.
I imagine what you had was Pecorino Sardo Maturo, as indicated by zerlina. Maturo is aged for at least 12 months, while the Fiore is aged much less, and has less bite. With regard to the man at Mike's, I would guess that he was saying "invecchiato", which means "aged". As far as I know, there is no such thing as Pecorino Sardo Reggiato. But I'm no expert :)
How is Mike's guanciale, btw?
Reggianito Sardo can be an Italo-Argentinean cheese, made from cow's milk. Lots of Italians in Argentina, and lots of cows. It is richer-tasting than Pecorino Sardo. Typically it is cheaper and can be a good bargain as a grating cheese, but should not be fraudulently sold as in Italian cheese.
No answer to your questions, but a little aside...The sheperds from Sardegna are known for making Pecorino, since they are typically tending sheep. The most famous pecorini in Italy for instance, come from Pienza and places close by; they are made in Tuscany by sheperds that came from Sardegna years ago. Fresco refers to a cheese that has ripened at least a few weeks and is still very soft, mezzo stagionato is a semi soft, and stagionato is hard, looking much like a parmigiano.
You can get some beautiful pecorino from Fairway.