Moliterno is an Italian cheese made in a commune of Moliterno, located at the intersection of Campania, Calabria and Basilicata. This cheese has several names Bianco Sardo and Canestrato. The names comes from the Latin word mulcternum meaning a place where you milk animals and let it coagulate. During the last century, there were two types of Moliterno; the richer, fatter cheese made during the winter with milk from herds feeding in wet pastures and the less rich, but more aromatic with milk from the summer when the herds are in the mountain pastures. Most commonly known as sheep cheese, it can also be made by blending a small percentage of goat’s milk. It is made with goat rennet and the curd is broken by hand and place in wicker baskets for about 24 hours. After this initial aging period, the wheels are placed on reed to age. While it is aging the Moliterno is rubbed with olive oil and vinegar to retain its moisture. The final product is round and cylindrical in shape and weighs between 2 and 18 pounds.
The pate is firm and crumbles with a rich golden color. Its aroma is a balance of rustic and sweet fragrances with a flavor that rich, nutty and salty with a strong bite. It pairs well with fresh raw vegetables and pears. Older cheeses can be grated on pasta, meat or soup. There are three classifications of this cheese that are determined on its maturity.
- Primative – aged 2 – 6 months
- Mature – aged at least 6 months
- Extra – aged at least 1 year
This cheese is made for a delicious Tuscan Chianti or your favorite Sauvignon Blanc!
Type of Milk: Sheep or Sheep and Goat blend
Age: at least 2 months