While recently on holiday in Italy, I took several pictures of cheeses in stores and at markets including this one of Marzolino in store of small hilltop fortress town called Pienza, in Tuscany.
I've never heard of Marzolino before, found the following info on internet:
- Tuscan Blog: March: time for Marzolino cheese made with sheep milk, very typical in Chianti area in Tuscany. Its shape can be round or oval. The colour is white or light pink, its outside is soft and white in the fresh one and reddish in the aged as sheep blood or tomatoes are used to cover it.
- Peck.it : The days begin to lengthen; the air tingles with newly awoken perfumes, and the pastures turn soft green in colour: it's this first grass of March which gives its name to these famous "caciotta" cheeses. The Marzolino cheeses are ancient caciotta cheeses, produced with pure sheep's milk; there are ones from Tuscany - the "chiantigiane", very closely related to the pecorino cheeses from the Crete Senesi - but production extends to the pastures of Umbria and Latium (or Lazio). The caciotta has a characteristic oval or cylindrical shape; it is rather small, and never weighs more than 500 grams. It appears that the tradition behind the small shape derives from the scarcity of milk produced by sheep fed on the first, still sparse spring grasses, perfumed with thyme, sainfoin and wild thyme. In the fresh cheese the crust is thin and white, the texture is uniform but rather soft and the taste is unmistakable. In the matured cheese the crust is reddish, the texture is very compact and the flavour is rather tangy. The distinctive flavour of the sheep's milk and the fresh grass and herbs of this cheese can be particularly appreciated if it is served with honey, broad (fava) beans and small fresh onions, walnuts, olives, spicy rocket leaves and fresh chillis, pears and fruit jams.
- igourmet: A table fresh pecorino (sheep's milk cheese), Marzolino originates from the ancient methods of making cheese during springtime, when the new blossoms of pastures give an unmistakable flavor and a firm taste to the milk. This small ivory-colored wheel is brimming with mild, sweet flavor.
Click on picture to get full size image, all the cheese pictures from Pienza stores posted on website