Sardinia is a large Italian island famous for its sandy beaches and great hiking trails. However, it’s also famous for its cheeses that are some of the best in Europe.
In this post we present the best Sardinian cheeses you should try;
1. Pecorino Cheese
The sheep’s milk cheese, Pecorino is famous worldwide as one of Italy’s best delicacies. It found its use in various pasta dishes and soups. Also, it’s quite common in pesto sauce.
There are two types of Pecorino cheese – sweet and ripe.
The sweet one matures in 20-60 days. It’s softer and more compact than the ripe one.
The ripe one is left to mature for 5-6 months. It’s hard inside and has a more intense aroma.
Sardinia is the largest producer of this cheese. It has the Protected Designation of Origin certificate by the European Union.
If you want to buy this local delicacy when in Sardinia, pay attention whether the cheese has the PDO label. If it does, you’ll know that you’re buying a real local cheese which is prepared by the traditional methods.
Pecorino goes best with a glass of red wine and good pasta. Enjoy!
2. Ricotta Cheese
Sardinia is famous for three varieties of ricotta cheese – smoked matured, ricotta mustia and ricotta salata. All of them are made using sheep’s milk.
Smoked matured ricotta and ricotta mustia are great choices for vegetarians since they contain vegetable rennet. These two are buttery in texture, although the latter is more solid than the smoked type.
Both of them are often used in cooking and as an appetizer.
Ricotta salata, on the other hand, is saltier than the previous two types. That’s why it’s typically used in cooking, rather than as an appetizer. It can also be found in foods such as ravioli and traditional Sardinian desserts.
3. Casu Axedu
Casu Axedu is made all over Sardinia. It’s soft, uncooked cheese, shaped into rectangles. It can be eaten fresh or matured. It’s often made by the locals at their homes. Rennet and whey, from the previous day of making cheese, are added to the mixture and then they’re left to curdle for several hours.
Before being eaten, it’s left to stay in brine for 24 hours.
The fresh version is typically added to salads, vegetables or as a spread over bread. The matured one is used with soups and pasta dishes.
This is a very popular cheese in the summer, when locals eat it for lunch or dinner, accompanied by a glass of wine.
Casizolu is a pear-shaped Sardinian cheese made near the town of Oristano. It is a quite distinctive cheese – it’s made from whole cow’s milk which is a rarity on the island. The milk is taken from Sardinian-Bruno and Sarda-Modicana cows.
It’s white to pale yellow and it’s labeled as a Slow Food Presidium product, meaning that it’s on the list of the world’s endangered heritage foods.
Casizolu is a table cheese, but it’s also used as a filling for the typical Sardinian fritters – Seadas. It goes great with Jerzu Cannonau wine.
Its flavor discloses an intense variety of herbal, milky, and almondy aromas. With aging, it becomes spicier in flavor.
5. Trizza Cheese
Trizza cheese made from cow’s milk, originates from the Oristano province of Sardinia. It is a stringy white cheese that comes in the form of a braid.
Where to Try Sardinian Cheeses?
Here are some great activities for the foodies that happen to be in Sardinia;