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Ragusano DOP formaggio


historic cheese, PDO – Protected Denomination of Origin 


Latticini di Fattoria 


Sicily  (Italy) 


the province of Ragusa and the territories of Noto, Rosolini and Palazzolo Acreide in the province of Syracuse. 


Ragusano PDO is one of Sicily’s historic cheeses. It is a semi-hard, stretched curd cheese made exclusively from milk of the Modica breed, salt and lamb rennet. With a pleasant and characteristic aroma, it has a sweet, delicate, overall very tasty flavour. The taste, not very spicy at the beginning of maturation, tends to become marked,  savoury and spicy for grating cheese. Ragusano PDO can best be stored in its original wrapping or in tinfoil and placed on the least cold shelf of the refrigerator, closed in glass or plastic containers. The semi-cured cheese is excellent as a table cheese, and is also used as an ingredient in many typical Sicilian recipes thanks to its versatility. Ragusano PDO aged over 12 months is ideal as a grating cheese.


A cheese-making excellence, recognised as a typical product in 1955, it is one of the oldest cheeses in Sicily and has been the subject of a flourishing trade beyond the island’s borders since 1500. The local Modicana breed, which provides the milk for its production, has a characteristic red coat with winey to black tones and is considered one of the best breeds of cattle. It is free-range all year round and is only housed for milking. Its diet consists mainly of wild herbs and grasses from the Hyblaean plateau. The variety of these essences contributes to the characterisation of the flavours and aromas of the product, and to the variability of its colour. The production period is the fodder season, from November to May. The procedure for the production of the Ragusano PDO follows an ancient tradition that today is carefully observed by the producers, in compliance with the production rules. The final stage of the spinning process  transforms the dough into a perfect sphere without any cracks. The transition from sphere to parellelepiped is achieved with the help of the mastredda, a wooden table on which the cheese is laid and shaped with the help of heavy pieces of wood. To ensure that the corners and rounded sides of the cheese are properly cared for, the cheesemaker has to turn the cheese every 10, 30, 60 minutes for 6-8 hours. The length of the parallelepiped varies from 43 to 53 centimetres and its weight varies from 10 kg to 16 kg depending on the size of the cheese. The cheese is lowered into the brine for salting, where it remains for two to eight days, depending on its weight. The rind is compact, smooth, thin and varies in colour from golden yellow to straw. Maturing takes place in cool, damp, ventilated premises with an ambient temperature of 14-16 °C, tying the cheese in pairs with thin ropes and placing them on special supports and, in any case, in such a way as to ensure perfect ventilation of the entire surface of the cheese. Cheese intended for prolonged maturation must be coated with olive oil. The fat content of the dry matter is not less than 40% for cheese intended for table consumption and not less than 38% for cheese aged over 6 months; It is advisable to take it out of the refrigerator about an hour before serving, unpacking it so that it can fully regain its flavour and aroma.

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