Ever heard of *Caciocavallo*, the teardrop-shaped cheese whose name literally translates as ‘horse cheese’?

For aging it is hung up in pairs, strings around its neck over wooden beams, and in the old days most likely it was transported hanging over horses or donkeys, one cheese dangling on each side of the animal’s scruff.

There is an astonishing number of 23 PAT[1] labeled *Caciocavallo* spread over the southern part of the Italian peninsula, from Lazio down to Sicily, with *Caciocavallo Silano* being the only DOP representative of its kind.

caciocavallo podolico

All of those *Caciocavallo* are Pasta Filata-, or stretched-curd cheeses, meaning that after curdling, draining of whey, and a multiple-hour resting period, 95°C hot water is added to elastify the milk protein Casein. This process lets the Cheese maker stretch and thread (filare) the curd into its distinctive paste structure and outer appearance. The *Caciocavallo* are then put into a salt brine before being sent on a maturation journey for anytime of 1 month to up to over 10! years.

Our *Caciocavallo* by the way is a *Caciocavallo Podolico*, a special and rare find, and was born on exactly June 15th of 2023.

Caciocavallo Podolico

What makes *Caciocavallo Podolico* stand out from the crowd

*Caciocavallo Podolico*, in our case a whole, raw milk representative made by Caseificio Masseria Vaccaro from Basilicata, is produced using milk of the ancient cattle breed *Podolica*.

Podolica bovines are known for their robustness and are ideal for the dry and patchy landscape of Puglia, Basilicata, Calabria, Molise and the Abruzzi. They are kept in extensive and (to a lesser degree) semi-extensive herding groups, and in the summer are transhumanced to mountain pastures situated 1.000m+ a.s.l. The milk of these grey and long-horned cows is sparse in yield but rich in fat and proteins, which, together with the flavor and aroma aspects of terroir, contributes to its unique taste.

Caciocavallo Podolico

When and how to enjoy

*Caciocavallo Podolico* naturally can be consumed at all ages, from young to old, depending on personal predilection and type of occasion. Like all cheeses, it gets more intense with age as it gives way to its complex aromas of Mediterranean pastures and wild herbs, and its texture slides onto the shardy side. You can eat it just by itself, grate it over your favorite pasta or melt it onto toasted bread. It pairs perfectly with a red wine, preferably from the same area or something bubbly from your fridge.

Caciocavallo Podolico

Caciocavallo Podolico

Gustav says he loves the soluble, elastic yet crumbly texture play and buttery pepper notes of dried fruit on a toasted parmesan rind and votes our brothy table companion a solid 13/10.

Caciocavallo Podolico


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