The 'Vastedda della valle del Belìce', probably the only, but definitely one of the few ovine spun paste cheese. Has a unique and characteristic flavor of fresh sheep's cheese, the taste is slightly sour but not acrid. The cheese is compact with some white streaks caused by the spinning craft.
The typical bun shape, with its slightly convex surfaces on sides, makes it distinctive.
The Vastedda della valle del Belìce PDO must have a dish diameter between 15 and 17 cm. and height of the heel between 3 and 4 cm. The weight is between 500 and 700 gr. in relation to the shape's size and the surface is rind free, white ivory, compact smooth without pitting or bending.
Product regulations PDO Trademark
The dough is uniform white color, smooth, not grainy, with possible streaks hints caused by the spinning craft. The hole formation should be absent or very poor, as well as sweating, whereas has characteristic smell of fresh sheep's milk, sweet, fresh and pleasant, with veins slightly sour. . His fat content is not less than 35% of dry matter, while sodium chloride does not exceed 5% of dry matter.
The Vastedda della valle del Belìce shows interesting organoleptic properties.
Its protein content exceeds, on average, other kinds of fresh sheep cheese.
This primacy is achieved with its particular workmanship, Indeed, the spinning process generates a washout of the fat, with same weight, provides an increase of the contained proteins.
We are talking about an excellent source of nutritive principles, mainly proteins, liposoluble vitamins and minerals like phosphorus and calcium.
More than that, the lack of fat makes it a remarkable food, with lightness and digestibility features.
- The visual examination of the vastedda observes a cylindrical shape with low and convex heel.
- The rind is absent, the outside color is ivory white uniform and within white.
- Compact body, with little or no holes formation.
- The flavor, reminiscent of sourish milk or yogurt, quite intense and persistent.
- The taste, balance between salty and sour.
- Soft structure, medium elasticity, low humidity and quite soluble.
The process uses only raw milk obtained from Belice's breed sheeps.
The milk is heated to 40 ° C after the addition of lamb curd. This is obtained by performing an old process which from lamb abomasum (stomach) allows to obtain a dough, defined precisely: curd As the tradition goes, the milk is heated to 40°C. Then you add the lamb curd. It takes approximately 50 minutes to form the curd, which should be broken finely.
At this step the bulk is moved into rattan baskets, fuscelle, and allowed to stand about 24-48 hours, during which the cheese acidifies.
Whereupon the mass is extracted, cut into strips and placed in a wood container, piddiaturi
Then, by the addition of hot water and the working with wooden paddle, vaciliatuma, takes place the cheese spinning.
once it's spun, the dough is shaped on a table, tavuleri, getting braids that are placed in deep plates. On these plates the dough settles down, where turned over a few times takes on the characteristic bun shape.
12 hours later, the cheeses are moved from the dish, salted in brine and left to dry for 12-48 hours.
The tools used in the preparation of the Vastedda della valle del Belìce DOP are the traditional historical instruments handed down throughout history.
It comes to wooden equipment as the 'piddiaturi', tina,'tavuleri','rotula', and a spinning rod or baskets of rushes.
All tools that enhance the milk of a microbial pro-dairy flora that give to the Vastedda del Belìce, in a natural way, its specificities.