Country of origin: Italy
Type: hard, artisan
Fat content: 30%
Flavour: full-flavored, nutty, spicy
Aroma: grassy, milky, strong
Producers: Casa Madaio
Synonyms: Canestrato di Moliterno IGP, Canestrato di Moliterno
Canestrato di Moliterno is an Italian, hard, pecorino cheese made from sheep and goat milk in the commune of Moliterno. The name comes from the Latin word “mulcternum” which means a place where animals are milked and coagulated. The PGI protection requires that the cheese be made with between 70% and 90% full ewe's milk and between 10% and 30% full goat's milk.
The cheese needs at least 60 days of ripening after which it is sold in cylindrical shapes. Depending on age of the cheese, rind colour can vary from yellow in “primitivo” (early produce) to straw-coloured in “stagionato” (aged) and extra versions. On cutting, a white or light straw yellow Canestrato slice exhibits a sweet and delicate flavour efficacy, which intensifies with aging. An aged cheese will develop an intense and spicy flavour whilst the rind colour could be almost black due to a carbon soot water, vinegar and olive oil treatment. The cheese contains a minimum of 30% fat. Due to its hard texture, it has a good reputation as a table cheese and pairs well with fresh, raw vegetables and pears. It can also be grated on pasta and soups. Wines such as Greco di Tufo, Falanghina, Lacryma Christi del Vesuvio and Aglianico make a perfect match with the cheese.