Sheep milk cheese

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Museum of the traditions of Cornus (Aveyron). The dairy of Roquefort.
Sheep milk cheeses from Poland
Sheep milk cheeses from France.

Sheep milk cheese is a cheese prepared from sheep milk. Well-known cheeses made from sheep milk include the Feta of Greece, Roquefort of France, Manchego from Spain, the Pecorino Romano and Ricotta of Italy.[1][2] Yogurts, especially some forms of strained yogurt, may also be made from sheep milk.

Nutrition and production[edit]

Sheep have only two teats,[3] and produce a far smaller volume of milk than cows.[citation needed] However, as sheep's milk contains far more fat, solids, and minerals than cow's milk, it is ideal for the cheese-making process. It also resists contamination during cooling better because of its much higher calcium content.[citation needed] Sheep milk contains 4.8% lactose, more lactose than cow milk,[4] and is therefore not an alternative for people who are lactose intolerant.

Though sheep's milk may be drunk in fresh form,[5] today it is used predominantly in cheese and yogurt making. Well-known cheeses made from sheep milk include the Feta of Bulgaria and Greece, Roquefort of France, Manchego from Spain, the Pecorino Romano (the Italian word for sheep is pecore) and Ricotta of Italy. Yogurts, especially some forms of strained yogurt, may also be made from sheep milk.[6] Many of these products are now often made with cow's milk, especially when produced outside their country of origin. It takes between 2 weeks to 2–3 months up to two years for the cheeses to fully ripen.

By country[edit]


French sheep milk cheeses include Abbaye de Bellocq,[7] Brique, Berger de Rocastin,[8] Brebicet,[9] Le Claousou,[10] Lévejac, Valdeblore, Roquefort, Ardi-gasna, Agour, Ossau-Iraty, Brocciu,[11] Asco, Brin d'amour,[12]Faisselle,[13] Fleur de Maquis,[14] A filetta,[15] and Niolo.


Cypriot sheep milk cheeses include Anari and Halloumi.


Greek sheep milk cheeses include Feta and Kefalotyri.


Italian sheep milk cheeses include Pecorino Romano, Pecorino Sardo, Pecorino Siciliano, Pecorino Toscano[16] and Ricotta.


Croatian sheep milk cheeses include Pag cheese and Ovidur.


Polish sheep milk cheeses include oscypek and bryndza.


Portuguese sheep milk cheeses include Castelo Branco, Azeitão, Rabaçal, Saloio, Serpa and Serra.


In Spain is Roncal,[17] made in the Roncal Valley, and is protected by the Protected designation of origin (PDO). Other cheeses from Spain are Torta del Casar and Manchego.


Hungary produces Parenyica, a sheep's milk cheese described as lightly smoked rolled cheese usually made from ewe's milk, but also from cows milk; surrounded by an edible cheese twine.[18]

In the Northern region of Hungary another ewes milk cheese, Gomolya is made and it is allowed to ripen outside in the sun for 3 weeks while slung in cheesecloth under an open-roofed shelter. It will develop a stronger flavour when allowed to mature on wooden boards.[18] p218.


One of the best sheep milk cheese in Canada is "Allegretto" by Fromagerie la Vache à Maillotte in Abitibi-Témiscamingue located in western Québec[19]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Cheeses made from sheep milk". Retrieved 3 December 2014.
  2. ^ [Cheese: A Connoisseur's Guide to the World's Best Max McCalman David Gibbons]
  3. ^ "Comparative Mammary Anatomy: Goats & Sheep". Department of Animal Sciences, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Retrieved 3 December 2014.
  4. ^ "Sheep dairy". Retrieved 3 December 2014.
  5. ^ "Sheep Trade in Syria" (PDF). National Agricultural Policy Center, Ministry of Agriculture and Agrarian Reform, Syrian Arab Republic.
  6. ^ Kurmann, Joeseph A.; Jeremija L. Rašić; Manfred Kroger (1992). Encyclopedia of Fermented Fresh Milk Products: An International Inventory. 233 Spring Street New York, NY: Springer. ISBN 0-442-00869-4.CS1 maint: location (link)p. 343
  7. ^ "Abbaye de Belloc -". Retrieved 3 December 2014.
  8. ^ "Berger de Rocastin". Retrieved 3 December 2014.
  9. ^ "Cheese library: Brebicet". Retrieved 3 December 2014.
  10. ^ "Le Fédou – France / Languedoc Roussillon – Cheese maker – Stand 2.1 D 10". Salon du fromage. Retrieved 3 December 2014.
  11. ^ "Brocciu -". Retrieved 3 December 2014.
  12. ^ "Brin d'Amour -". Retrieved 3 December 2014.
  13. ^ Labro, Camille (2 May 2014). "La faisselle rafraîchit les idées". Le Monde. Retrieved 19 March 2016.
  14. ^ "Gourmet trends Brin d'amour". Retrieved 3 December 2014.
  15. ^ "A filetta, Corsica". Retrieved 3 December 2014.
  16. ^ Cheese Primer. p. 240. Retrieved 3 December 2014.
  17. ^ "Roncal". Retrieved 3 December 2014.
  18. ^ a b Gergely, Aniko (2006). Culinaria Hungary. Germany: H F Ullman, an imprint of Tandem Verlag GmbH. p. 108. ISBN 3-8331-2184-X.
  19. ^ Inc, Radium. "La Fromagerie la Vache à Maillotte".

Further reading[edit]