Il Pecorino di Atri
Pecorino di Atri is a variety of traditional pecorino cheese from the area of Atri, on the border between the provinces of Teramo and Pescara. It is made from whole raw sheep's milk with lamb or kid rennet and is a semi-hard cheese, semi-ruda, with small and uncommon holes. The cheese has very distinct characteristics depending on the degree of maturation: the 'sprisciocco' is obtained from freshly moulded curd and is pressed with the hands; the 'primo sale', commonly used in the preparation of fried cheese, and the 'incerate', a short maturation process, have a white, soft paste with a slightly acid flavour; the medium maturation process is appreciated for its intense flavour, while the more mature cheese is favoured by enthusiasts with a decidedly spicy flavour. It is usual to store it in local extra virgin olive oil after 40-60 days of aging in bran or, much more rarely, in ashes. Under oil the Pecorino di Atri softens acquiring from the oil a particular fragrance that makes it inimitable.