Moliterno and its Pecorino Cheese
Moliterno. escape from Saracens
Along the way back from the hike in Grumentum would be a crime not to stop to Moliterno: either to visit the town but also to buy the typical Pecorino Canestrato cheese.
This town, like others in the Val d'Agri, is set directly from the "ashes" of Grumentum because there fled the inhabitants of the ancient Roman city driven by Muslim gangs in the late ninth century.
Moliterno is dominated by a medieval castle, built on land protection by the Longobards: From this hill you can enjoy a glimpse of the lake Pertusillo, a basin formed after the construction of a high dam almost 100 mt. on the Agri river in the sixties of the twentieth century, a strip of deep blue between green hills.
The Pecorino Cheese from Moliterno : where to buy it
One of the occasions not to be missed, however, is to taste the cheese produced here for centuries: the same name Moliterno is connected to the verb "milk", as evidence of the antiquity of sheep farming and dairy business.
We can find the Casieddu, the seasoned ricotta, but especially the canestrato pecorino.
The latter is obtained from the milk of sheep and goats; It is so called because the curd is pressed by hand into baskets; after eight months of ripening, in cellars called " fondaci " [warehouses]; the result is a dark yellow hard cheese with an intense flavor that goes well with honey or marmalade.
To buy it, because you will not find hardly any advertising in the country, you will have to serve an ancient and romantic way: ask those who meet in the street where to find someone who sells it.
Will likely show a door to knock on: the home of a family that produces it, and if you do not open up, they give you a phone number, as long as someone will respond and give you an appointment at the farm in a rural area, where the cheese - both a whole form and a piece - there will be vacuum packaged and where you can buy other products from Basilicata.
PGI - Protected geographical Indications
Until 2009 this cheese of Moliterno had received only the generic indication of Agribusiness Traditional Product, that is "the product obtained with methods of processing, storage and maturation over time consolidated, homogeneous throughout the territory concerned, according to traditional rules".
It was just a Report that has failed to protect local production against counterfeiting in recent years.
Since 2010 the Moliterno Canestrato got the IGP (GPIs) : a recognition that will put local authorities and producers face the possibility of going out on traditional craftsmanship.
So, perhaps, you can taste the real Pecorino canestrato more easily.
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