Also in the works was a huge fiadone, a cheesecake made with Corsica's ricottalike brocciu (pronounced ''brooch'', with a delay on the ch; see box below). I started to bombard the Juillards with questions about Corsica's numerous cheeses, but they were focused on the task at hand and politely sent me down the road to the small village of Vallecalle to see their brocciu supplier, Fromagerie Casanova. A brisk walk later, I arrived at a simple, sterile-looking facility. Until a few years ago, cheesemakers often worked out of their shepherd's bergerie, usually a small stone or wooden hut. New French laws now prohibit this. In a white-tiled room, fromagerie owner Pierre-Philippe Casanova and shepherd Paul Pruneta were stirring (with obvious glee) the pale, creamy contents of a metal pot set over a low flame. When I asked Casanova, a rugged, self-assured mountain dweller, about the cheese he was making, he quickly replied: ''It's not cheese, it's brocciu!'' which he went on to describe as ''light, fresh, yet...anything but bland, like a ricotta with the taste of the maquis''. Brocciu plays a part in many Corsican dishes, including storzapreti, omelettes, and beignets, and is commonly eaten at breakfast seasoned with salt and pepper or topped with jam.