We the Italians March 21, 2016 - 77 - Page 43

st # 77 MARCH 21 , 2016 Balsamo dating back to 1808, emphasis was placed on the “goodness of the Modica cattle” and the “cheese and ricotta products, which are fifty per cent better than that of the towns, and twenty five per cent more than the best in Sicily.” for grating). Its typical shape is that of a parallelepiped with a square section and cropped corners. Slight inlets can be found on the surface due to the movement of the supporting ropes used during the curing process. Each wheel weighs around 16 kg and has a smooth, fine, compact crust that is a golden yellow or brownish straw colour, depending on the length of the seasoning for the cheeses for grating. In 1856 Filippo Garofano also cited the fame and exquisiteness of the cheeses and ricottas of Ragusa. In 1995 the excellence of this dairy product earned it a Designation of Origin, and the following year it obtained EU DOP (Protected Designation of Ori- The maximum thickness gin) recognition, whereby is 4 mm and it can be coit lost the historic name of “caciocavallo”. vered in olive oil. It has a compact structure and may have cracks that occur when the curing period is extended, which can sometimes be combined with a few holes. When cut, it has a white colour tinged with straw yellow that can be more or less intense. Production The milk destined to be transformed into cheese must come from farms located within the municipalities of: Acate, Chiaramonte Gulfi, Comiso, Giarratana, Ispica, Modica, Monterosso Almo, Poz- The product Ragusano DOP cheese has a pleasant aroma that characteristic of its particular production procedures, and a very pleasant flavour. It has a sweet vanilla taste and is only mildly spicy in the first months of maturation (in the table cheeses), then it gets more spicy with a hint of almond when it is matured for longer (in cheeses WE THE ITALIANS | 43 www.wetheitalians.com