The farm
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azienda For many years, the Cucchiara brothers have been running their stock-raising farm near Salemi (Trapani province, Sicily) and specialising in the making of top-quality cheeses.
The farm is located near Salemi, in the heartland of the Sicilian province of Trapani, at Contrada Torretta, close by the archeological site of Mokarta, surrounded by natural pastureland at an altitude of 500 m. Here the Cucchiaras have their cheese-parlour: here, and only here, they use the milk from their own sheep to produce the Pecorino Siciliano D.O.P. cheese.
With the experience gained over time in the farming and stock-rearing sector, particularly dairy ewes as well as some cattle, the present management aims to maintain the highest standards in producing and marketing a well-made, pleasant-tasting cheese able to compete both at regional and national level with comparable products made by the most prestigious farms in that sector.
The flagship product is the “Vastedda valle del Belice” d.o.p. cheese, one of the extremely rare stretched-curd cheeses made with ewe’s milk. Made in small cylindrical moulds, its pleasant flavour is unmistakeable.
As well as its own exclusive products, the farm also makes traditional Sicilian pecorino cheeses, both ripened and fresh; the latter comes in various styles: single salting pecorino, plain or flavoured with black peppercorns or chilli peppers.
What all the farm products have in common is the fact that the cheese-making and ripening processes take place in a natural environment, with constant attention given to quality. This gives them a uniqueness much appreciated by the most refined gourmets for their Mediterranean fragrance and aromatic flavours so typical of the area.
All the cheeses possess specific characteristics linked to environment, climate, type of pasture, and to the mainly indigenous breed of sheep, which graze freely on the natural pastures so rich in wild plants.
No detail is insignificant, when making the high-quality milk, in chemical and microbiological terms, to be used for cheese production. Therefore, the sheep-rearer / cheesemaker must exercise the utmost care with regard to the animals’ housing, the milking-parlour, and the hygiene standards in the cheese-parlour.
Microbiologically sound milk contains “good” bacteria which facilitate and improve the cheese-making process, and which are indispensable in bringing out the cheeses’ aromas and flavours throughout the ageing process. During this phase, the cheeses are stored in the original cool, well ventilated cellars with natural stone walls.
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