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DOS Sicilia Cheese Supply Chain 

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Consortium of the Piacentinu Ennese DOP

The Piacentino of Enna (in Sicilian piacintinu ennìsi), is a cheese Sicilian produced with milk of sheep entire in cylindrical form with flat or slightly convex faces with a diameter of 20–21 cm, the side is straight or slightly convex, 14–15 cm high. The weight varies between 3.5 and 4.5 kg and is characterized by the addition of saffron  (grown in province of Enna  experimentally) and of grains of black pepper  which, in addition to giving the piacentinu an unmistakable color yellow-Orange, give it a taste spicy and slightly spicy.

The cheese got la Protected Designation of Origin  (DOP) with the name of Piacentinu ennese" at European level on February 15, 2011.

Consortium for the Protection of Piacentinu Ennese PDO 

Via Piemonte, 78 - Enna (EN)
Tel: +39 330 528052

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Product data sheet 

Piacentinu Ennese PDO is an aged pressed cheese made from whole and raw sheep's milk, coming from the Sicilian Comisana, Pinzirita, Valle del Belice and their crosses, to which saffron and black pepper in grains are added.

The production area of Piacentinu Ennese PDO includes the entire territory of the municipalities of Enna, Aidone, Assoro, Barrafranca, Calascibetta, Piazza Armerina, Pietraperzia, Valguarnera and Villarosa in the province of Enna, in the Sicily region.

Sheep's milk from one or two successive milkings is used, processed within 24 hours. The milk is brought to cooking temperature (38 ° C) and is transferred to the vat (wooden container) in which saffron and rennet are added. It uses rennet in paste from lambs and kids reared in the production area. The saffron is also locally produced and is characterized by a high content of crocin and picrocrocin, which gives an intense and characteristic final bouquet. After coagulation, the curd is broken with a stick (patella) to obtain grains the size of a grain of rice. After the agglomeration of the granules, a cheesy mass is formed which is transferred onto a wooden or steel board and is subsequently cut and distributed in reed baskets. Before being put into shape in the baskets, black peppercorns are also added to the curd. A manual pressing is then carried out to facilitate the purging of the whey. The baskets containing the cheesy mass are then placed in the vat and covered with hot sheet for 3-4 hours. Subsequently, the pasta is extracted and left to cool and then uniformly sprinkled with coarse-grained salt (dry salting). This operation is repeated twice at a distance of 10 days from each other. The seasoning period lasts at least 60 days.

Piacentinu Ennese PDO has a cylindrical shape, with a weight of 3.5-4.5 kg. The rind is soft and elastic, the smooth paste of a more or less intense yellow color, due to the presence of saffron, and with slight holes. The appearance is also characterized by the presence of black peppercorns. The flavor varies from slightly spicy to more intense depending on the seasoning, the smell is characteristic, with light notes of saffron.

Piacentinu Ennese PDO can be kept in the refrigerator closed in the special aroma-saving and freshness-saving containers, or wrapped in greaseproof paper. It can be consumed both as a table cheese and as an ingredient in the preparation of various recipes. In the first case, the peculiar aromatic characteristics due to saffron can be better appreciated. However, the Sicilian tradition also uses it in breading of meats, in first courses (eg pasta with free-range chicken broth) or in goat abbuttunato, a typical Ennese dish.

In the Piacentinu Ennese PDO the presence of atherponeol was found, a particular terpene, an aromatic substance that comes from the typical forage essences which the sheep grazing in the production area feed on.

Complete product sheet available on the official website ofQualivita Foundation

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