Monday, August 19, 2019

Still got basil

I picked another bunch of basil on Sunday. We made fettuccine with pesto sauce for lunch. The twist was the cheese. Because we live in the countryside, getting anything other than the standard French cheeses is difficult. I like pecorino Romano cheese, but that's Italian (THAT'S Italian!). We do find imported parmesan and grana padano locally, but they are cow's milk cheeses. Romano is made from sheep's milk. A whole different flavor.

Green and purple basil still going strong in the garden.

Fromages de brebis (sheep's milk cheeses) abound in France, of course. But I've not seen it aged to the point of being dry enough to grate, as Romano is. We wondered if we could do it at home. Ken got some French brebis (made in Basque country) and sliced a hunk off for an experiment. He wrapped the cheese in paper towel and stuck it into the cheese drawer of the fridge, then just left it alone for nearly seven weeks. Yesterday, we looked at the cheese and it was dried to perfection. He grated it easily and, voilà, we had our own home-made version of pecorino Romano!


  1. Well, that's good for you!
    And... I had NO IDEA that Romano was sheep's milk cheese! No idea! That's hilarious to me, that I didn't know that. Ha!

  2. You guys are so creative and clever with your cooking. I would have found the cheese in the fridge after 7 weeks and said, well, this is old and dried out ... and in the bin it would have gone!

  3. What Seine Judeet said! I love sheep cheese--how did I miss that Romano was sheep cheese?

  4. Romano is our favorite, more than Parmesan....But I would never have thought of drying out a cheese to be able to grate it. (Reminding me of the joke about making America grate again by banning shredded cheese).

  5. What clever folks you all are. Neither would I have known about Romano, or to dry it for grating.

  6. judy, when I was a kid, I liked the Romano that came out of the red can (Parmesan was in the green can). Had I known it was sheep's milk cheese I probably wouldn't have eaten it!

    mitch, throwing cheese in the bin... isn't that like... cooking?

    chris, do you buy sheep's cheese often?

    thickethouse, lol... "make America grate again." :)

    emm, there's a fancy name for drying cheese: affinage.

  7. Oh, I remember those cheeses in the red and green containers. Ha!


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