Sicilian goat cheese "Formaggiu ri capra"
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Sicilian goat cheese "Formaggiu ri capra"


Product included in the national list of traditional agri-food products (PAT)

PAT type: Cheeses

Production area: The entire Sicilian territory.

Technical data sheet of the traditional agri-food product (PAT)

Historical equipment: Wooden vat, wooden patella, wooden cisca, wooden boards, baskets of “fascedde” rush, tinned copper boiler. Direct wood-gas fire.

Maturing rooms: They are dry and cool rooms where the shapes are arranged on the wooden shelves individually or arranged in pairs on top of each other. There are also cellars and caves.

Recurring names deriving from different stages of salting / maturing: Fresh tuma without any salting. Primosale indicates a fresh cheese of about 8-10 days that has undergone external dry salting. Secondosale indicates a semi-matured cheese of about 2-3 months that has undergone dry salting.

Seasoned indicates a cheese, salted in the same way, whose maturation exceeds 3-4 months.

Brief historical notes: The origins of this cheese date back to the XNUMXth century BC Homer speaks of a drink based on grated goat cheese. Even Aristotle, in the XNUMXth century BC, dwells on Sicilian dairy traditions, enhancing the taste of goat's milk mixed with cow's or sheep's milk.

In the Roman period, XNUMXnd century BC, Varro places the accent on the nourishing qualities of goat's milk and goat's cheeses. A hint of the goodness of goat cheese appears in the "Complete course of theoretical, practical and economic agriculture" by Abbot Rozier around the eighteenth century.

The transformation technology is illustrated in the aforementioned book by Campisi.

Type: Hard, raw cheese.

Production: The entire Sicilian territory.

Main production technology lines:

  • species / breed: Goat;
  • raw material: Whole milk, raw;
  • microflora: Natural;
  • rennet: Goat pasta sometimes of lamb;

prevailing power supply system: Pasture rich in spontaneous essences rarely integrated with stable feeding.

processing techniques: Cheeseu ri capra (Sicilian goat cheese) is still produced with traditional techniques. The milk coagulates in a wooden vat at about 34-35 ° C with kid and / or lamb rennet paste in about 45 '. The curd is drained by hand after being placed in "fasced" rush baskets that leave a particular modeling on the surface.

When canned, black peppercorns or chilli flakes can be added, it is then blanched for about 4 hours with a hot scald, placed on a wooden board to dry;

salting: The day after production, dry salting is carried out by hand on the entire surface of the wheel. After 10 days the wheel is treated again and can undergo another salting after another 10 days.

Seasoning: From 2-3 days to over 4 months;

Product features: The shape is cylindrical with flat or slightly concave faces; the rind is white-yellowish, with the wrinkled surface left by the basket and is covered with oil; the paste is compact, white or pale yellow with few holes. The flavor is spicy. It weighs about 3 kg.

Historical references:

Pliny the Elder: "Naturalis Historia ”(11th book).

Pietro de Crescenzi: "Liber ruralium commodorum", 1294.

Homer: "Odyssey" (9th book), 1950th-XNUMXth century. BC, Onorato Castellino – Vincenzo Peloso, Graphic Workshops XNUMX.

Virgil: "Bucolics and Georgics" (Eclogue V and book 3), 37-30 BC / 42-39 BC, Lorenzo Giudice, 1954.

National Institute of Rural Sociology: "Atlas of typical products: cheeses", Franco Angeli, Milan, 1990.

Campisi Carmelo "Sheep and pecorino of Sicily", Francesco Battiato publisher, Catania, 1933.

Source Pat Cards: Sicily Region 

Card insertion: Ignazio Caloggero

Information contributions: Web, Region of Sicily

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