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Santo Stefano Quisquina (AG)
The Agricultural Society Presti is located in the district of the Sicani Mountains in the territory of the commune of Santo Stefano Quisquina, about 400 meters above sea level in an uninhabited area and surrounded by greenery.
It performs handicrafts of cheese made with milk coming exclusively from its sheep herds.
The cheeses are all raw milk and are produced with traditional local cheese techniques to preserve the taste and aromas derived from their mountain pastures.
In particular, it is registered with the Consorzio di tutela del Pecorino Siciliano DOP as a member and producer of cheese protected as a historical and cultural heritage of Sicily and Italy as a whole.
The Sicilian Pecorino DOP
The Sicilian Pecorino DOP is according to some experts the oldest cheese in Europe. News on early sheep cheese is already found in the Natural History of Pliny the Elder. Legend has it that this pecorino is a direct descendant of the products produced by the Homeric Polyphony; In fact, there are quotations dating back to the 9th century. B.C. In one of the most famous passages of the odyssey, when Ulisse meets Polifemo.
It is a semi-white cheese with a strong color and flavor of cylindrical shape, with a slightly concave face, obtained exclusively from raw sheep's milk and produced on Sicilian territory.
The production period runs from October until June. This is because it is produced exclusively with whole sheep milk, fresh and coagulated with lamb rennet. The sheep that provide milk to the herbivores are grown on spontaneous pasture and their milk is available right from October to June. On each form, the salting is manually applied while the maturation period is never less than 4 months and is carried out in natural areas. Only in this way the Sicilian Pecorino DOP acquires its own personality, while retaining all the flavors of Sicily.
In order to obtain the DOP mark, a protected designation of origin (a legal protection mark granted by the European Union to those foods whose peculiarities depend exclusively on the reference territory) producers must comply with the rules laid down in a consumer protection regulation. It is produced exclusively with traditional equipment. Flawless shapes are branded by the certifying body.
Pecorino Siciliano DOP cheese is produced, fresh cheese and seasoned seeds of sheep milk, its variants with black pepper and chili pepper and fresh ricotta cheese.