For many people who see their favorite chef grating salty slivers of it over a plate of perfectly cooked pasta or a New Haven-style pizza, pecorino cheese has become almost interchangeable with Parmesan.
There is so much more to this beautiful, traditionally crafted cheese than just being an alternative garnish, however, and I hope that after reading this, you will not only realize just how much hard work goes into getting pecorino to your table, but you will also be tempted to make it a star ingredient in some of your future culinary endeavors.
What Is Pecorino?
The name pecorino is actually taken from the Italian word pecora, which means “sheep.” It links back to a time when sheep were an essential source of food and materials for rural families in what is now Italy. And the first historical records of the cheese being made come from nearly 2,000 years ago, in the works of the Roman writer Pliny the Elder.