By Chef Lippe
Each 6 pound wheel of Pecorino Ginepro is soaked in an aromatic bath of balsamic vinegar and juniper before it is aged for a minimum of four months. The dark brown rind is created by the vinegar, though the lingering finish is kissed with gin-juniper rather than acerbic acid. Wrapped in paper, which contains moisture, the cheese is always moldy, and benefits from a few hours’ breathing. An unusual and arresting cheese, made of raw sheep milk. This cheese is made in Lazio region of Italy and is aged between 4 and 6 months.
The flavoring process begins by bathing the cheese in oil and balsamic vinegar and then covering with a layer of crushed juniper berries for the next 4 to 5 months. In the aging process the juniper berries infuse the cheese with a pine forest aroma and the reddish brown rind is completely edible.
This cheese is a good match for either a medium bodied fragrant white or a lighter style red wine. Try Fiano di Avellino a pine scented white from Campania or a slightly tart Langhe Nebbiolo from Piemonte. Serve it with rustic and crusty bread and dry salami for a taste of heaven.