PECORINO TOSCANO DOP
The Consorzio Tutela del Pecorino Toscano DOP was founded on 27 February 1985, bringing together the fabric of skills and expertise of producers who share the love for their region and the desire to achieve excellence in their production. This “family of Pecorino Toscano DOP” comprises 868 sheep breeders, 17 dairies, a cheese maturing expert and a packaging facility. For over 30 years now, the Protection Association has guaranteed that only the cheese that meets the product specification is called and sold as Pecorino Toscano DOP, handing down the production tradition and strengthening its identity, both nationally and internationally.
The Protection Association is responsible for protecting and overseeing the production and marketing of the DOP (PDO) cheese and the use of the DOP (PDO) designation; therefore, it promotes any project or initiative that can safeguard the uniqueness and peculiar characteristics of this cheese from abuse, unfair competition, food frauds and imitations, improper use of the DOP (PDO) designation and other illegal behaviour;
it collaborates with the Ministry of Agriculture in overseeing, protecting and safeguarding the DOP (PDO) through inspections by its staff; it also collaborated with the EU, the Italian Government, the Regions and Autonomous Provinces, public and private entities and the DOP (PDO) supervisory bodies, for the purpose of valorising and protecting the DOP (PDO) designation, making available its staff and organisation; it supports its members in updating and self-monitoring the production process and promotes the consumption and dissemination of the Pecorino Toscano DOP brand nationally and internationally, through events and marketing campaigns, including online campaigns.
Tuscan pecorino cheese is easy to recognise thanks to the DOP (PDO) mark in ink for soft cheeses and hot-marked for semi-hard cheeses. The logo contains the words “Pecorino Toscano DOP” and the ID number of the producer, as well as a stylised P and T.
Production area: history and tradition
This cheese is rooted in the history of the region and in a profound relationship between the environment, the sheep and the shepherds. In Tuscany, sheep breeding, which is one of the most ancient forms of animal husbandry and of colonisation of a territory by human beings, has centuries-old roots, the fruits of which are a cheese-making tradition handed down through the generations and a type of cheese that is considered one of the best Italian specialty foods.
Pecorino Toscano DOP is synonymous with rural history and a community that in solitude, in marginal and challenging areas, from the Apennine mountains to the calanques of the Orcia Valley known as the “Crete”, and in the wild reaches of the Maremma, towards the sea, has pastured for centuries their large flocks of sheep.
The unique nature of the DOP (PDO) pecorino cheese from Tuscany comes from the close connection that exists between the geographical environment, the characteristics of the milk from which it is made and the production methods which, today, combine artisan techniques and innovation. Thanks to characteristics of the land on which the sheep graze, the milk produced is sweet, delicate and balanced and the resulting cheese is truly out of the ordinary.
From sheep breeding to milking, preparation and maturing, each step of the cheese-making process must meet the product specification laid down for the Pecorino Toscano DOP, strictly in the specified production area, which includes the entire region of Tuscany and the towns of Allerona and Castiglione del Lago in Umbria, and of Acquapendente, Onano, San Lorenzo Nuovo, Grotte di Castro, Gradoli, Valentano, Farnese, Ischia di Castro, Montefiascone, Bolsena and Capodimonte in Lazio. The different climate and cheese-making traditions of each community, while consistent with the guidelines contained in the product specification, nevertheless confer to the cheese varieties and nuances in flavour and aroma that make it even more inimitable.