Fiore Sardo is a unique product, a scrìnium (treasure chest) of knowledge, flavor and aromas. It is undoubtedly one of Sardinia’s products which has clearly retained aspects of its ancient past. In fact, Barbagia shepherds had begun to produce this cheese in the days when they were attempting to resist the invasion of the Roman legions who, in order to flush them out, trained their dogs to track the characteristic scent of the smoked cheese. Despite this, the Roman consuls Gaius Papirius and Marcus Pomponius Matho were never able to force the local populace into submission. The cheese-making technique was not of Roman invention and was, in fact, practiced previously, as evidenced by the numerous documents left by the Nuragic civilization regarding the Sardinian interest in sheep farming. The shepherds still make Fiore Sardo in sheepfolds and technology only goes as far as a thermometer to measure the temperature of the milk. The cheese is produced using freshly milked and raw sheep’s milk so as to retain the aromas of the grazed herbs. It is curdled at udder temperature using raw sheep’s or goat’s rennet, preserving each aroma. After breaking the curd, the cheese is shaped and either dry-salted or preserved in brine. It is left to dry in the grate below the fire, taking on the scent of the smoke from the burning wood. The maturing process is traditionally left to the women, who turn the cheeses and grease them with olive oil. The cheeses are around 1.5-4kg/3.3-8.8lb in weight and have convex sides, with a yellow or brown rind, a white or straw-yellow heart and a strong, pronounced and either sharp or not so sharp flavor.