Saturday, September 21, 2019

Caciofiore from Sibillini Mountains - Camera di Commercio di Macerata

Caciofiore (Slow Food product) is a historical soft cheese made from fresh milk of sheep born and raised on the pastures of the Sibillini Mountains. For the production of this cheese it is used a particular vegetable rennet: the flower of the wild thistle, the Cynara cardunculus. The tradition of using plant extracts to curdle the milk dates back to the Roman times and it was taken up by the Stephords of the Sibillini, which produce cheese from the sheep milk and thistle flowers. In addition to the inherent specificity of curd, this cheese is unique also for the originality that distinguishes the complex processing technique, in full respect to the exclusive traditional recipe.



Pasta with a Hole, Caciofiore cheese, and Eggs




·         Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper

·         1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

·         1 large red onion, cut into 1/4-inch pieces

·         1 pound perciatelli or bucatini pasta

·         4 large eggs

·         1 cup aged sheep's milk cheese, such as Caciofiore

·         1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped

·         1 cup freshly grated cheese

·         4 to 8 large egg yolks, for serving




1.    Fill a large pot with 8 quarts of water and bring to a boil. Add 3 tablespoons salt and return to a boil.

2.    Meanwhile, in a very large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and cook until soft and lightly golden, 7 to 9 minutes. Remove pan from heat.

3.    Add pasta to boiling water and cook, according to package directions, until almost al dente. Drain, reserving 1 cup cooking water. Transfer pasta to skillet, along with 1/2 cup reserved cooking water. Place skillet over medium heat.

4.     In a medium bowl, beat eggs and season with salt and pepper. Add eggs to skillet along with sheep's milk cheese; gently mix to combine. Let cook until eggs just begin to set, but not scramble. Remove from heat and add parsley and cheese. Divide evenly between serving bowls. Top each with an egg yolk and season with pepper; serve immediately.


The Sheep produces smaller volume of milk than cows, but it is richer in fat, solids, and minerals. This makes it ideal for the cheese-making process. It is not an alternative for people with (severe) lactose intolerance, due to the fact that it contains even more lactose than cow milk.

It also contains the omega-3 fatty acid, conjugated linoleic acid. CLA may help to reduce high blood cholesterol, lower risk of cancer and aid in weight loss, although more research is needed. In addition, sheep's milk cheeses, like Caciofiore, are easier to be digested than cow's milk cheese because they contain more short- and medium-chain fatty acids.

Sheep milk has nearly twice the fat as cow or goat milk. However, the fats in sheep milk are primarily monounsaturated and polyunsaturated which have virtually no effect on cholesterol; Also the fat in sheep milk is made up of short and medium chain fatty acids, making them easier for the human body to digest and eliminate.

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size 1 cubic inch

Amount Per Serving

Calories from Fat 65

Calories 90

% Daily Values*

Total Fat 7.21g



Saturated Fat 4.987g



Polyunsaturated Fat 0.171g



Monounsaturated Fat 1.645g


Cholesterol 19mg


Sodium 103mg


Potassium 20mg


Total Carbohydrate 0.47g



Dietary Fiber 0g



Sugars 0.47g


Protein 5.88g


Vitamin A 0%

Vitamin C 0%

Calcium 11%

Iron 2%

Produced from October to June when the lambs are milking, it is created with raw sheep's milk with the rennet obtained from full-bloom artichoke blossoms. It is usually formed into squares. It is traditionally aged in straw nests for 30 to 80 days. The resulting cheese has a golden rind and a soft, intensely creamy interior. It bears the scents and flavors of the artichoke and the field foliage that the sheep graze on.