Many American consumers use the term “pecorino” as shorthand for the dry, sharp, salty grating cheese that competes with Parmigiano-Reggiano as a pasta topping.
But Italy’s pecorinos are far more varied than that. They’re made at creameries from the north to the south and matured anywhere from a few weeks to years. They can be mild and milky, or biting and peppery, as supple as mozzarella or as hard as rocks. The only unifying feature is the use of sheep’s milk.