History, features and production area of semi-cooked paste goat cheese
Semi-cooked paste goat cheese is traditionally made in a specific area enclosed between the provinces of Cagliari and Nuoro, in particular in the towns of Tertenia, Siniscola and San Nicolò Gerrei. Its history traces back to 50 years ago – a very short history, indeed, if you compare it with the one of other Sardinian cheeses, but not the least unimportant. In fact, this cheese was awarded the PAT denomination, an official approval for traditional Italian regional food products.
As a PAT product, it proves itself tightly connected with the territory on which it is made. Plants and brushwood eaten by Sardinian goats give their milk the right aromatic profile to the milk used for making this cheese, which is thus not replicable outside the Island.
Thanks to the addition of calf, lamb or kid rennet, the milk undergoes a presamic kind of coagulation. The curd is then broken into grains the size of corn, then serum is subtracted from the paste and the latter is pressed into round moulds with a diameter of 18-22 centimetres. Some producers develop this phase with industrial techniques, but we at Sardinia Food District get our supplies strictly from artisans who steam their goat cheeses in naturally hot cellars and then salt them in brine, once again manually.
Cheese & wine: how to use and match semi-cooked paste goat cheese
This Sardinian semi-cooked paste goat cheese is certainly not a shy one: it has a dominating, intimidating taste made up of a complex entwining of herbal and animal aromas. It thus does not prove itself enjoyable for everyone, but it will be appreciated for sure by those who love a strong taste to cheese. We advise those customers to eat it in purity or just with sliced raw bread (whole wheat or rye bread are just perfect).
A full bodied red wine will be the natural match, as it will be capable of standing up to the cheese’s strong taste. You can either choose an Apulian Primitivo di Manduria DOC or a Tuscan Brunello di Montalcino DOCG. If you prefer beers, though, our advice is to match semi-cooked paste goat cheese with a Belgian blanche with low alcohol content and strong citrus scents, which will freshen up your mouth after eating such a fat cheese.