Caciocavallo

Photo of Caciocavallo Cheese
Important Facts
Country of Origin Italy
Specific Origin Apennine mountain range
Milk Type Cow's, Sheep's, occasionally Goat's, rarely Buffalo's
Rind Smooth, thickens with age
Texture Firm to semihard, chewy to crumbly
Flavor Slightly sweet to sharp, piquant, complex
Flavor Notes Sweet when young; intensifies and becomes piquant and complex with age, dotted with small crystals
Colors White to rich yellow
Forms Teardrop or gourd
Age 2 to 12 months, up to 5 years

About Caciocavallo Cheese

Caciocavallo, a pasta filata cheese from Southern Italy, is known for its distinctive teardrop shape. Originating centuries ago, it's made from cow's or sheep's milk, sometimes goat's or buffalo's. The name means "horse cheese," referring to how cheeses are traditionally cured, resembling saddlebags on a horse. Alternatively, it's thought to mean "bell cheese" due to its shape.

The cheese varies from fresh to aged, developing from slightly sweet and chewy to sharp, piquant, and crumbly with age. It features a smooth, thickening rind, sometimes washed with wine or flavored with truffles. Smoked varieties exist, and occasionally, it's stretched around butter or lemons.

Caciocavallo's taste and texture differ by region, influenced by milk type, the diet of the animals, and aging duration. Produced mainly in Italy's Apennine range, it's recognized by the Italian Ministry of Agriculture as a traditional food product, notably Caciocavallo Podolico, from the Podolica cow, and Caciocavallo Silano, with PDO status.

This cheese is integral to Southern Italian cuisine, used in various dishes from stuffed pastas to grilled or fried, and served as a table cheese. Despite its roots in Southern Italy, caciocavallo is enjoyed nationwide and globally, available in specialty shops and online.

Caciocavallo Cheeses on AnyCheese

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