Moliterno al Tartufo
Milk: Sheep, Raw Milk
Country: Italy, Sardinia
Accompaniment: Bolder reds
The unique shape of this traditional Pecorino is a result of the wicker baskets (canestra) the dairymen use to separate the whey from the curds. Moliterno is the town in Basilicata (the instep of the boot on the map of Italy) where for hundreds of years these cheeses were aged in caves at 2,500 feet above sea level. Production shifted to Sardinia in the recent past.
The truffle paste is injected into the cheese after it has aged for a while creating very striking veins (almost motherlodes) of truffle. The truffle essence grows from there throughout the cheese.
This cheese is rubbed with olive oil several times over the 5 month final aging period creating a hard brown rind.