Moliterno’s Pecorino Canestrato PGI is one of the excellences of Lucanian gastronomy, obtained from sheep and goat’s milk, a sweet fresh cheese and a spicy and aromatic aged cheese. Canestrato di Moliterno PGI is placed in typical rush baskets, from which it takes its name (‘canestra’ means ‘basket’).
The curing phase must take place exclusively inside the so-called ‘fondaci’, cold, dry and well-ventilated environments present only in the territory of the municipality of Moliterno and located above 700 meters above sea level. The fondaco has walls at least 40 cm thick, with at least two underground sides and two openings for air circulation. Depending on how long it is cured, Canestrato di Moliterno PGI is distinguished as Primitivo, aged up to six months; Stagionato and Extra, when the curing lasts up to one year and over a year respectively.
In the Moliterno area, sheep farming and the custom of transforming milk into cheese have very ancient origins, as evidenced by archaeological finds dating back to the 4th century BC. The name of the city itself could derive from the Latin mulgere, meaning “to milk”.
During the renowned festival dedicated to Pecorino di Moliterno you can also attend the “curding”, the preparation of fresh cheeses, which can be purchased together with other typical local products.