Place of Origin
Territories of Foggia and Bari
Canestrato Pugliese is a typical cheese of Puglia, produced in particular in the area of Alta Murgia and the Tavoliere delle Puglie.
Its origin goes back to the 16th century during the period of the transhumance of the herds, from the high Daunia mountains to the plains of the Tavoliere delle Puglie.
It is a hard cheese of unique taste made with sheep's milk belonging to the Gentile di Puglia breed.
Once the cheese is ready is placed in baskets, the so called "canestri", and salted on its outer part.
Later the cheese is removed from the canestri and matured in cool environments. During the maturing months the cheese is turned over several times and treated, externally, with extra virgin olive oil.
The maturation period can vary from 3 months, for a more fresh cheese, up to 10 months, for a harder cheese to be used with grater.
Canestrato Pugliese can be combined differently depending on its maturing period.
The short matured Canestrato is usually eaten with raw vegetables and fresh broad beans.
The matured one is usually used grated on pasta with meat tomato sauces, but it can also be served with celery and black olives.
Canestrato pairs well with white wines such as Locorotondo and San Severo Bianco DOP.
The seasoned Canestrato pairs well with red wines like Salice Salentino Rosso DOP.