The canestrato cheese takes its name from the frail baskets used for its preparation and conservation (in Italian they are called “canestri”).
These cheeses are fairly common from Sicily to Lazio and they are usually made with cow’s milk or sheep’s milk or goat’s milk.
It is a hard cheese with a very ancient history, linked to the pastoral traditions of southern Italy.
The maturation varies from two to ten months. Less seasoned cheeses are characterized by a color ranging from white to straw yellow, with a soft and delicate flavor; the more seasoned cheeses are hard and with a strong and pungent flavor.
Food and wine pairings
Canestrato cheese maturated only a few months is good for seasoning soups or delicious dishes. These cheeses can be pair to a well-structured white wine.
The more seasoned cheeses – from six months up – are good table cheese and grated cheese, and are usually used to accompany salads or vegetable dishes. In this case, it is better to drink strong-flavored wines, which compensate for the accentuated taste of the cheese.