As well as being one of the most beautiful villages in Tuscany and certainly the one with the best views, Pienza is famous for its Pecorino cheese. It has been made in this area for centuries and Pienza has a good selection of cheese shops. You can’t walk through the streets without getting wonderful aroma’s wafting out from them. You can’t help but be tempted to go in!
Il Cacio di Ernello is a cheese shop located just a few minutes from the main street. It sells cheese produced by Ernello Armellini and his family at Podere San Polo, a farm about four km away. They have a great selection of pecorino cheeses and a lovely creamy yoghurt made with a mix of sheep and goats milk. If you are interested in learning more about the cheese making process tours of the farm can be organised.
Right next door is Pienza’s small agricultural supermarket (Consorzio Agricolo). One of the best cheeses is the Pecorino di Fossa from fattoria Buca Nuova. Aged in caves dug into rock this cheese develops a rich taste over time. The pecorino al mosto is another great option. Matured for 120 days, 40 of which are spent wrapped in marc- the redidue of pressed wine grapes- this strong flavoured cheese is a Tuscan classic.
Head to SOLP for some fresh full bodied Ricotta that will leave a delicate flavour of creamy sheeps milk lingering in your mouth. Also try their marzolino cheese. The best variety is the marzolino rosso. The red colouring comes from the tomato concentrate and oil wash used in the production, which leaves a very delicate tomato aftertaste in the cheese itself
Lastly for a selection of wonderful cheeses from the producers in the valley stop at the La Taverna del Pecorino -one of the best shops in town. The owners are friendly and offer tasting of the cheese before you buy. Don’t miss the pecorino stagionato allie foglie di pera which is aged wrapped in pear tree leaves and also the pecorino tartufato, a creamy truffled pecorino cheese.
Il Caccio di Ernello
Viale Mangiavacchi 37, Pienza
SOLP Caseificio Cheese Shop
Via Dogali 6 Pienza
La Taverna del Pecorino
Via Condotti1, Pienza