Casciotta di Urbino DOP is a semi-cooked paste cheese, made up with a mix of sheep and cow milk, produced in the province of Pesaro-Urbino. Its name comes from the ancient term "cascio", a dialectal variety of the more widespread "cacio", one of the many Italian ways to say cheese. This valuable cheese has ancient origins and there are documents stating that the great Michelangelo Buonarroti liked it!
Sheep herding has been performed for centuries in these lands: mountains and the abundance of water in a charming land dominated by perennial pastures, with a differentiated flora rich in oat grass grant the sheep an optimal food. In the last decades, production has grown thanks to the introduction of the Sardinian sheep, which makes more milk than the indigenous breed.
Many other pecorino cheeses are made in the Marche, such as pecorino di Monte Rinaldo, pecorino di fossa and the peculiar Cacio Limoncello.
Casciotta di Urbino DOP features a short aging of about 20/30 days, which provides a pleasant, sweet flavour, with an enjoyable acid component and a good milk aroma. It can be used in different ways, such as sauces, creaming of dishes and fillings. It is traditionally served along with broad beans and local cold cuts like ciauscolo di Loreto, but it is good served only with rustic bread or grilled polenta as well. Obviously, a glass of fine wine has to be around: Rosso Piceno, Torgiano Rosso or Nobile di Montepulciano are good matches.