This cheese's name is derived from the canestre (baskets), used by the shepherds who invented it. These days the rinds are often especially treated with olive oil to bring out the ridged basket shape.
Canestrato Pugliese is a DOP cheese similar to pecorino, made from free range ewe's milk from the Alta Murgia region, and very similar is canestrato di Castel di Monte from the Abruzzo.
Canestrato Crotonese, from Calabria, hides a hard, creamy white paste under its hard rind. It can be aged for up to two years and has a pungent flavour. Around Crotona they eat it at Easter with raw broad beans. All the above are in the Ark of Taste.
There is also a canestrato Trentino made from cow's milk and goat or sheep rennet in the Vallagarina (Trentino-Alto Adige), with a pale paste and spicy flavour.
Images by: Francesco