Pecorino of Mount Poro: Calabrian Protected Name (DOP)


PECORINO OF MOUNT PORO: tradition and protection

This kind of special Pecorino is one of the most traditional cheeses in Calabria, that takes its name from Mount Poro, a plateau located in central Calabria on the Tyrrhenian seaside between Angitola, Mesima and Serra  (province of Vibo Valentia).

This plateau is an ideal place for grazing and pepper cultivation, thanks to its special microclimate and incredible nighttime humidity, which favors the presence of a wide range of spontaneous herbs.

“Monte Poro’s pecorino” is a typical, well-known product that has a long history, over the centuries. Already in 1500 was quoted by the priest Gabriele Barrio, of the order of the Franciscans, in the treaty “De Antichitate et situ Calabria”.

Nowadays, this cheese is an excellence and a DOP (protected name, according to Italian law),  due to characteristics of milk, to the pastures of this territory, and to the particular composition of the soil.

DOP mark, indeed, protects the nutritional characteristics of this pecorino and the quality due to the handicraft transformation of milk, along with the diffusion and knowledge of the product.



The Mount Poro cheese pie fills the shelves of all regional supermarkets, but few artisans produce it in a traditional manner: a handful of small and almost always family-run businesses. And all are located into a wonderful countryside: the Mount Poro’s plateau.

The area of ​​Mount Poro offers abundant pastures rich in aromatic herbs. Here, sheep breeding is always practiced in the wild and the excellent sheep cheese is here produced, especially in the municipalities of Ricadi, Spilinga, Drapia, Zaccanopoli, Rombiolo and Limbadi (province of Vibo Valentia).



The technique is common to all Calabrian “pecorino”: sheep milk (with any goat’s additions) coagulates and put in the stamps without cooking, pressing the shapes energetically with hands.

Salting is always handmade: the two sides of cheese are rubbed with sea salt. Then, before laying the cheese in seasoning, its crust is enriched of olive oil and chili pepper, which give the surface a characteristic rose coloring.

The height of the shape is about 12 centimeters and the diameter of the faces is around 18 centimeters. The weight of the shapes ranges from 1.2 to 2.5 kilograms. It is preferably consumed by medium seasoning – five or six months – as table cheese, and at that time can be appreciated in all its aromatic intensity and taste fragrance.

At the cut, this cheese is slightly gleamed, granular and of a color ranging from white milk to niveous white. The internal part, –  very greasy, thanks to the treatment that the pecorino undergoes in crust, – has particular aromatic characteristics: in some cases you feel the mint and wild flowers scent.

This cheese,  -combined with a little-known Calabrian wine, the White or Rosé Scavigna, from the homonymous native grape, – is perfect.


Olive Oil, Mediterranean essence


Like Bergamot, another true essence of Calabrian gastronomy is olive oil. Such authentic food is full of culture, history and is a must of Southern cuisine.

The trynomial of wine (Cirò and Donnici), bread (for example, Donnici bread quality, near Cosenza) and olive oil (Nocellara and Carolea) is the true basis of daily life of Calabrian people.

The real Southern gastronomy is able to combine quality and wellness; at the same time, the region of Calabria lives on export of Olive Oil. Namely, Calabria is, now, the source of 25% PRODUCTION OF ITALIAN OLIVE OIL; at the same time, among the top six olive oil of the world, two are Calabrian, and, commercially, Calabrian oil is sold to wholesalers who take this dense, robust Calabrian olive oil and mix it with that of other regions.

Generally speaking, Calabrian olive oil is a very safe and HEALTHY FOOD for the every-day life, providing monounsaturated fats, which can naturally lower cholesterol and risk of heart disease. Further, extra-virgin oil contains antioxidants very useful for said heart healthy. This wholesome antioxidant-rich product also contains vitamin E, renowned for its anti-cholesterol and anti anti-ageing effect. Dubbed as olive oil’s most beneficial health component, its polyphenols are potent antioxidants that neutralize free radicals in the body and reduce the risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, digestive problems and certain types of cancer.

As a SYMBOL OF THE MEDITERRANEAN DIET, Calabrian extra virgin olive oil represents an important addition to export product range of Calabria. Its finest Organic Olives are carefully selected and cold pressed – enjoying all the full, fruity flavours of this healthy oil.

Calabrian Extra Virgin Olive Oil have colors ranging from green to straw-yellow and has a distinct fruity flavor and aroma with a slight tinge of bitterness.

After careful growing, a delicate harvesting by hand, and cold pressing in cutting-edge olive press, Calabrian extra virgin olive oil fully reflects authentic tastes and aromas of the land, where the trees grew. In fact, two mains, typical Calabrian Olive Varieties are CAROLEA andNOCELLARA.

Traditionally, these two type of olive trees have always had a symbiotic relationship with grapevines. Therefore, the interaction of the plants with the nearby environment influences the low acidity and a nice depth scent combined with a certain refinement of delicate tones of the oil. Calabrian oil are normally “fruity” with hints of almonds and artichokes as well as a pleasantly spicy note. This rare spicy note is sometimes called ‘pizzicante’ flavour of extra virgin olive oil, and is very important as an indication that the oil is rich in polyphenols. Further, this luscious oil always features fragrant hints of almonds, basil and parsley, and notes of artichoke, lettuce, wild thistle and chicory.

In GASTRONOMY Calabrian olive oil is ideal on fish and in fish sauces, but also substantial enough to match nicely with meat, game, and vegetables. Extremely tasty, this oil is ideal to enhance the flavour of a wide variety of dishes, from pasta to meat courses, cheeses and bruschettas. Especially, extra virgin olive oil from Calabria is ideal when paired with shrimp, lobster, turbot and sea bream, mushrooms, soft cheese, mayonnaise, couscous and yeast-raised cakes. Finally, sweet and fragrant, this aromatic oil will glorify the flavor of any dish to the fullest, embodying a well-balanced bitterness with a light spicy aftertaste.

The typical way to produce Calabrian oil are two: MULTICULTIVAR or MONOCULTIVAR.

The latter means that oil is made from a single variety of olives harvested (during the peak of Calabrian Autumn in October) from olive trees grown in the exquisite clay soil of the Calabrian region.

All the extra virgin olive oils produced in Calabria derive from cold pressing of olives, without the use of heat or chemicals. This ensures that oils maintain an acidity level of less than 0.8% and retain all the positive nutritional benefits of the olives, including good cholesterol, vitamin E and anti-inflammatory properties.

Of course this kind of olive oil is recognized at European level.

In fact, Calabrian olive oil corresponds to the trade names provided for in Directive 136/6623 / EEC, Reg. EC 2568/91 and Reg. EC 1989/03.

The types of Olive Oils which Europe guarantees are:
•Extra virgin olive oil with an acidity of less than 0.8%
•Virgin olive oil with an acidity up to 2%
•Olive oil composed of fine oils and oils of virgin olives with an acidity not exceeding 1%
•Saffron oil and derivatives of saffron oil of raw olives.