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Traditional organic food: Black Sheep pecorino cheese

Food in our cycling holidays in Sardinia has an important role. One of the place we are going to visit is Funtanazza Farm, near the beautiful beach of the same name. Here farmers produce a traditional organic food, the special pecorino cheese made of the milk of Black Sheep of Arbus.

Traditional organic food
Black sheep in the pastures

The Black Sheep

The Nera di Arbus is a breed of small domestic sheep indigenous to the Mediterranean island of Sardinia. It takes its name from the town in the south-western part of the island. The breed achieved official recognition in 2008.

The black sheep is raised for various purposes. Firstly for milk, which allows to yield several kind of cheese: aged pecorino, semi-aged pecorino or ricotta.  Another purpose is the wool, that is of coarse quality and black. It is used for weaving work, like traditional carpets. It is also used to make orbace, a coarse hand-woven cloth that is useful to manufacture traditional garments.

Traditional organic food
A storage room of pecorino cheese!

A traditional organic food

The taste of Sardinian cheese is unique thanks to the extraordinary nature of its pastures, its characteristic climate, and the special qualities of its territory. In particular, the taste of the sheep’s cheese from Arbus is remarkable: it is produced in a territory which has many natural resources and which is considered one of Europe’s most ancient territories. Furthermore black sheep belong to native breed that goes back thousands of years. And the Sardinia pecorino actually has pre-historic origins. Funtanazza Farm won a national Italian prize in the category of aged cheese: an acknowledgement of the passion and professionalism of the farmers.

Traditional organic food
The family ethnographic museum: tools for the manufacture of cheese

The family farm exists since the 19th century. And this ancient farm we are going to visit offers a wide range of local history topics. Firstly, we are going to see how a traditional organic food like pecorino cheese is made. Then, the farm still preserves an old historical style, where we can see the ancient places and tools for the cheese production, like in an ethnographic museum. Finally, included in the property is a typical architecture of the Nuragic period, a Giant’s grave. Thus, this visit is worth for a really cultural enrichment on local history.

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