Caciocavallo, literally “a cheese on the back of a horse”, is a typical product of Southern Italy, but nowhere is its tradition more steeped than in Calabria, where on the Sila mountain this stringy cow milk’s cheese is a DOP certified product.
The name really comes from the way the cheese is hung to season, two forms of cheese hung a cavallo, straddling a horizontal piece of wood. The rind usually shows the groves left by the strings used to hang it, and sometimes you will also be able to buy it… with strings attached! Often the cheese shape is oblong, but you can also find smaller, spherical forms with a “head” where the string is tied. The flavor is sweet in the first few days, and it becomes stronger and stronger as it ages, gaining a piquant chracteristics that makes it a good substitute for Parmigiano in some dishes!
This cheese is truly excpetional when it comes to nutritional values, filled with vitamins and It takes about 10 quarts of milk to produce 2 pounds of cheese, and a quarter pound is nutritionally equivalent to 180 grams of beef or 200 grams of trout. Pretty impressive! It is used in recipes that exploits both its nice texture and employ it raw, like diced pasta salads, or baked and grilled and in fondue-type of dishes.
Filed under: Traditional Foods