Cheese with the so-called "saltarello worms" is very ancient, like the town or the mountains it comes from: as a matter of fact, this special and very tasty pecorino cheese, processed according to ancient methods that have been handed down till present times, was born in the lands of Abruzzi, characterized by a strong sheep breeding tradition. Known with the dialect name of cace fraceche for the particular production method, the delicious cheese specialty marcetto enabled the recovery of pecorino cheese rounds that had small defects on the rind, mainly given by cracks or fissures.
Current Production Area in the Park: Its production involves the whole territory of Gran Sasso e Monti della Laga National Park in Abruzzi, although the area characterized by the greatest production is Castel del Monte, in the Province of L'Aquila.
A traditional product of Regione Abruzzo, marcetto is obtained from pecorino cheese prepared with raw milk. During the maturation stage, the fly Piophila casei lays down larvae on fresh or waxed rounds with cracks in the rind. The larvae, with their development, start a degradation process of the proteins. This action leads to a transformation of the creamy texture which, from a white cream color becomes yellow ocher and can be preserved in terracotta or glass jars. Despite the particular production feature of this traditional cheese, the product is hygienically safe and has a unique intense and spicy taste.
It is usually eaten with fresh bread, toasted bread, or as a cream in the dish.
Product Availability: It is for sale all year round, mainly preserved in glass jars.