Via Val d’Enza, 23
54016 Tavernelle di Licciana Nardi
The grandparents had sheep, the parents had sheep. Giancarlo Boschetti has sheep, which he takes care of together with his wife Claudia Fortini. A family tradition and passion. Two hundred Massese sheep and about twenty Saanen goats. He takes care of the animals, the girl and the girl. She turns the milk. A perfect "team game" for this small farm - husband and wife, precisely - in the heart of Lunigiana. The sheep stay in Tavernelle for nine months a year: at night they sleep in a stable and during the day they go out to pasture. From July to September they go in transhumance: first to the Abbey of Linari, for a week (also to break up the journey), then to the step of the Glue, in Monchio delle Corti. There is a sheet metal shack that is used to make cheese. Giancarlo (which in summer directly transforms the milk) it needs little equipment, even because, in the hot season, the quantity of milk decreases. Not that in the small laboratory in the house there are particularly sophisticated equipment: the technique is that of the past, in the name of tradition. The Massesi sheep give good quality milk and good yield. However, they are rather delicate and much more selective when they are grazing. The lamb, called "black head", he is highly rated because he remains thin, its meat has a much milder flavor than other breeds.
Technology, here, non serve: there is not even a thermometer, in the home workshop. The milk is heated to 37-38 ° C, the temperature is felt with the hands. Pecorino cheeses are made with raw milk, in copper pots. When Giancarlo goes up with the milk, it is immediately put to curdle: in an hour it becomes solid. The curd is broken and the cheese is extracted. There are proteins in the remaining whey: he puts himself on the fire, it boils, the whey proteins thicken and the ricotta surfaces.
Ricotta continues to be prepared in pieces of cotton, hung, as no one does now. The boiling whey is drained quickly and the ricotta remains creamy and dry. It gains in quality.
The characteristic of Boschetti's pecorino is that no one shape is the same as the other. «Since we work in a traditional way - explains Claudia - pecorino is subject to many variations: depending on the herbs that the sheep eat, of the weather, of many factors. Making raw milk pecorino, there are so many variables. We absolutely do not want standardized products. On the contrary, we like to teach customers that cheese is never the same, precisely because of its genuineness ".