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Typical Italian cheeses: Caciocavallo

Typical Italian cheeses: Caciocavallo


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Origins and production area

Caciocavallo is a typical southern Italian cheese. The denomination Caciocavallo originates from the use of hanging and drying the cheeses, tied in pairs, straddling a beam, or from the fact of modeling the pasta. According to other sources, however, this name was born at the time of the Kingdom of Naples, when it was used to imprint on the surface of the cheese a brand representing a horse. Bebe is one of the emerging products obtained with the same technology as Caciocavallo. It is a product that has an elongated shape with two opposite heads, one of which is larger (maximum diameter 5-6 cm, height 10-12 cm, weight 500 gr.). The shape resembles that of a baby in swaddling clothes, hence the name. It is a product recently introduced on the market, in particular in the tourist areas of the Amalfi and Sorrento coast. The production area is limited to the province of Naples. Bebe is generally eaten fresh after a short maturing period of a few days and for this reason it meets the taste of many consumers who prefer it to Caciocavallo for its more delicate flavor.
When it is obtained with podolica breed cows, bred in the wild or semi-wild, it is particularly valuable because their diet is very varied and rich in essences typical of the Mediterranean mountain. The cheesemaking takes place most of the time in the farms.

Caciocavallo del Cilento

Characteristics and production phases

Type of cheese: pasta filata with maturing for at least 3/4 months.
Half the milk of the milk is heated to 50-60 ° C and added to the appropriate quota, suitably filtered, in order to have a temperature of about 40 ° C. The milk is added with liquid calf rennet if you want to obtain a sweet caciocavallo, with a delicate taste or rennet in kid or lamb paste for caciocavalli with a spicier taste. In about 30 minutes the curd is obtained, which is first cut in two and then broken up to obtain lumps the size of a corn kernel. The mixture is left to rest for 30 minutes, extracted from the whey, heated to 60 ° C and added to the paste. The process is repeated twice adding the serum graft. Once it has reached maturity, the curd is extracted and left to dry for about an hour on a shelf called tompagno, it is first cut into large slices and then into thinner slices which are placed in a tin where they are worked with hot water at 85 ° C . The curd is worked until the spinning conditions are reached, and initially giving a hemispherical shape of about 2.5 kg and then the characteristic shape of the ovoid caciocavallo with a narrowed and closed apex appendage. The caciocavalli tied in pairs are left to dry for about fifteen days on horseback. After this period they are aged in cellars for at least 3-6 months up to a year. Caciocavallo can be spicy or sweet depending on the rennet used.

Smoked caciocavallo
Part of the Caciocavallo production is smoked. In this case the forms are hung in pairs and exposed to the smoke obtained from the burning of straw and shavings; smoking lasts for 1 day if it is conducted in large and unskilled rooms or 20 minutes in special smokehouses. The smoking temperature is between 40 and 50 ° C.

Gastronomy and recommended wines

The recommended wines for matching are Cirò Classico Rosso, Aglianico del Vulture and Orvieto Classico.


Video: Melted Caciocavallo Cheese and Arrosticini Skewers. Italy Street Food (July 2022).


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