Incanestrato di Castel del Monte

Incanestrato di Castel del Monte is a traditional cheese from the Abruzzo region in Italy. It is specifically produced in the towns and communes of Castel del Monte, Pescocostanzo, and Roccaraso. This cheese has a rich history that dates back to the Middle Ages when it was made by shepherds in the area.

The cheese gets its name from the traditional method of production, where it is shaped like a basket (incanestrato means “basketed” in Italian). It is made from sheep’s milk, which is collected from local farms and then processed in small dairies. The cheese is aged for a minimum of 60 days, during which it develops a firm texture and a slightly tangy flavor.

Incanestrato di Castel del Monte has received the PAT (Traditional Agri-Food Product) recognition, which guarantees its authenticity and traditional production methods. According to the specifications, the cheese must be made from raw sheep’s milk and aged for at least 60 days. It should have a pale yellow color and a compact texture, with no holes or cracks.

One popular recipe that features Incanestrato di Castel del Monte is “Pasta alla Chitarra con Incanestrato.” This dish combines the cheese with homemade pasta, typically made using a special tool called a chitarra, which gives the pasta a unique square shape. The cheese is grated over the cooked pasta, creating a creamy and flavorful dish.

Another recipe that highlights the cheese is “Incanestrato di Castel del Monte e Miele.” In this recipe, thin slices of the cheese are served with a drizzle of local honey. The combination of the slightly salty cheese and the sweet honey creates a delightful contrast of flavors.

Sources:
1. “Incanestrato di Castel del Monte DOP” – www.prodottitipiciabruzzo.it
2. “Incanestrato di Castel del Monte” – www.abruzzoturismo.it