Privitera Dairy
Filippo Privitera

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Valledolmo

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A shepherd who produces ricotta and sheep cheeses
Filippo is a shepherd who produces ricotta and sheep-milk cheeses. His flock is made up of as many as 300 Belicine sheep, an indigenous Sicilian breed originating from the Belice valley, and the most widespread on the island together with the Comisana sheep. His son Enzo takes care of the flock: starting with what they eat, where they go, and the milking. Filippo, instead, jealously guards the daily ritual of transforming milk into cheese and ricotta.
Filippo has taken on his responsibility with great passion and attention ever since he was a boy. He inherited the traditions and the farm from his father and grandfather. Despite having adapted the Sicilian dairy tradition to the new European regulations (such as the use of steel tools instead of wood), he has managed to preserve traditional steps in the manufacturing processes. These steps are essential to produce ricotta and pecorino (sheep-milk cheese) with unique and typical characteristics.
Every single sheep is milked by hand, twice a day in winter, once in summer, because in this way Enzo and Fillippo says, “We can feel if the sheep are well”. The dairy products are produced with a freeze-dried organic rennet produced according to health regulations (still made from the lamb’s stomach, as is traditional) and the maturing of the pecorino takes place in bundles of reeds that Filippo collects, a practice that has now mostly been lost.
A ritual to be tasted
The visit to Fillippo takes place during the morning ritual of cheesemaking. During the two hours, we witness the production of cheese, from the breaking of the curd all the way up to the skillful pressing of the cheese, and shortly after, the surfacing of the ricotta. At the end of the ritual, it is possible to taste the hot curd and fresh ricotta: an unforgettable experience with unique flavors, that one can experience only by visiting a shepherd.
Visiting Filippo is an exciting and central experience for understanding the heart of Sicily: years of knowledge, flavors, and smells, which bring forth memories of childhood, of lost worlds, and engage all the senses.

In these itineraries

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notti

Sicilian gastronomy, cheese-making, and olive oil

1

notti

Sicilian gastronomy and cheese-making