Masseria De Tursi: the Pecorino of Crotone

_DSC0514 (1)At Murgie di Strongoli, Masseria de Tursi, now in its second generation, has bred sheep since the beginning of the twentieth century. It produces, according to the rules dictated by the ancient tradition dating back to the fifteenth century, high quality cheese with the milk of its farm, which mainly consists in sheep. The company - certified as organic in 1996, guaranteed by AIAB - with 105 hectares fit for seed and natural pastures within the SIC (Sito di Importanza Comunitaria - Site of Community Importance) Murgia di Strongoli, has 350 heads of sheep bred in wild. It offers an authentic testimony of how it is possible to reconcile sheep-breeding, the production of artisan cheeses, and the rules of agribusiness, without depriving the products of their most authentic taste.

This reality is able to combine tradition and innovation, handing down traditions, gestures, and flavours. Its mission, as the owner Giuseppe de Tursi states, consists in «producing one of the flagships of the typical gastronomy of this land, precisely the Pecorino Crotonese cheese, combining tradition, innovation, experimentation, and research, in order to meet both demands and needs of a specific target of niche consumers. Everything is done as it happened almost a century ago, while respecting the hygienic-health rules strictly and scrupulously imposed by the Community specifications».

The processing
Fresh sheep’s milk coming from flocks grazed on natural pastures is transferred on a daily basis at the processing centre, where it is measured, analyzed, filtered, and processed raw as in the old tradition of sheep-breeding. The owner explains: «Our cheese is prepared with raw milk coming from our pastures, according to ancient standards: aging at room temperature, on planks in beech wood, with weekly periodical rotation of the cheeses. For aging, the product is sprinkled once a month with extra virgin olive oil. The milk, processed raw, is only heated to a temperature which allows curdling, so preserving the substances contained in it, such as vitamins, bacteria, and microorganisms useful for both cheese making and maturing over time. This happens unlike pasteurized milk used in industrial processes, which, heated to 72 °, removes the natural microflora of milk. It is therefore necessary to add lactic acid bacteria. The organic method, practiced for twenty years, has allowed the restoration of spontaneous Mediterranean autochthonous flora in the grazing lands». Herbs, essences, and abundant thistle, besides giving special aromas and flavours to these cheeses, act as natural treatments for the sheep themselves.

The PecorinoT I semi stagionato 1

Masseria de Tursi produces different types of sheep’s milk cheeses, exported, for example, in Germany, France, Switzerland, Belgium, the UK, Austria:

  • semi-seasoned, from 20 to 40 days. Its straw yellow paste is compact, with rare holes and full, pleasant, harmonious, and delicate flavour;
  • seasoned, from sixty to one hundred and eighty days. It is characterized by strong, perfectly balanced flavour;
  • very seasoned, with maturity ranging from 9 to 15 month. It is characterized by strong flavour which progresses with the seasoning, becoming savoury and slightly spicy;
  • very seasoned reserve, with maturity ranging from 16 to 24 months, characterized by definite flavour;
  • aged seasoned in barrels with spring spontaneous herbs and leaves of nut or hazel. It is characterized by compact paste with few holes, intense aroma, strong and balanced flavour;
  • seasoned aged in 'Pecorello' autochthonous white grape marc;
  • seasoned, treated on its surface with ground spicy red pepper.

Ricotta cheese

The organic ricotta prepared with sheep’s milk of Crotone is produced with whey of sheep’s milk, milk, and salt. It is characterized by a white and compact paste, a balanced and buttery flavour. Smoked, seasoned Ricotta, then, is characterized by a white paste tending to dark yellow, firm, smoked with olive or orange wood. Finally, natural organic sheep yogurt is proposed. It is a powerful anti-diabetes and anti-cholesterol.RB 1  a fette con logo

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