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The waitress doesn’t like me. For days, I’ve tried to work up the nerve to ask someone to sit with me and share a plate of brocciu, a creamy ewe’s-milk cheese unique to Corsica. But at every turn, I find the people as stoic and rugged as their landscape. It’s the same treatment here above the port of Centuri. Yet, behind this woman’s icy facade, I think I detect some compassion. “Would you join me for a bite?” I ask. She turns away. It’s a touchy subject, cheese.
Brocciu is no run-of-the-mill foodstuff. It’s made from the milk of sheep that graze freely in highlands rich in plants like asphodel and lentisk, as well as rosemary. It’s earned a culinary stamp of approval usually reserved for fine wine. Since arriving in Corsica, I’ve eaten it in omelets and desserts. I’ve even tasted the sacred stuff in a farmhouse soup. Always alone. I’ve yet to eat it with an islander. Nobody will even talk about it.
“Is there a brocciu maker here?” I ask. My query earns me a silent stare.
Read Colin Barracloug’s adventure to talk Brocciu here.