Saturday, October 29, 2011

Making cheese with shepherds

We were fortunate to spend time with three shepherds in the hills near Castelbuono.  To help maintain a culture of growing local product, the state pays shepherds a subsidy each year based on the head of livestock owned.   These men have other small holdings in the region.  Vincenzo spends most of the year on the property - even during freezing winter;  Sarro and Giacinto spend nine months of the year there.

 Our fabulous guide, Carmelina, with Vincenzo.

Here we are learning to make ricotta and provolone - fresh cows milk and rennet, boiled slowly in the copper until the curds and whey separate.

 Except that it would have been rather obvious, I was longing to steal this beautiful handmade ladle.
 Above, provolone just made. Below - the cheese in hot water, softening before being stretched.

 and then moulded.

 Our fearless leader, Patrizia Simone, moulding the provolone. 
Patrizia and Giacinto

Patrizia and Vincenzo

Sarro - a quiet man - expertly moulding his cheese

The end result

Love Nature

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