A Guide to Caciocavallo
We here at the Publick House love brining new and inventive cuisine to our neighborhood. One such offering is our Cauliflower Polpetti, that has Caciocavallo (pronounced “Kaso-Kavalo”) cheese in it along with Locatelli, Ricotta, crushed tomato, and fried parsley. We are often asked for more details on this type of cheese and offer this guide below.
What is Caciocavallo Cheese?
This is one of the most popular cheeses from Southern Italy and has a distinct elongated shape. Caciocavallo can be made from cow’s or goat’s milk. However, a traditional Caciocavallo is made from the milk of a specific cow that lives in the Puglia region of Italy. This cheese is often referred to as Caciocavallo Podolico.
Due to the conditions in the region, it can be one of the most expensive cheeses in Italy. Microelements and the microenvironment are essential to making this cheese in the air, land, and generally nearby sea. Caciocavallo means “cheese on horseback” and derives its name from the manner in which the cheese is tied together in a rope and dangled over a wooden board to drain and age. The aging process can be anywhere from six weeks to two years.
What Does Caciocavallo Cheese Taste Like?
The cheese takes 5 hours to make. Instead of a slow stir, the cheesemaker uses a long wooden, grill-like spoon to quickly and energetically stir it. The best cheese is fermented in a maple vat, rather than steel. It can take one to three hours in the fermenter depending on the weather. It is then cut and kneaded in a process similar to mozzarella. The cheese ultimately has a rich, earthy flavor and is similar to certain Provolone cheeses.
The cheese can pick up an intense and fruity aroma with persistent aging and can turn from white to yellow. Along the way, it turns from a milky white to a darker yellow and gets a more salty flavor. The result is a cheese with profound tasting notes and perfect accompaniment to a glass of Italian red wine.
What Are the Health Benefits Caciocavallo Cheese?
One of the most amazing health benefits of Caciocavallo cheese is this beta-carotene content due to the specific cow’s milk. The cheese is rich in vitamins and minerals such as calcium, protein, phosphorous, zinc, selenium, and vitamins A and B. In fact, certain individuals with lactose sensitivity can enjoy this type of cheese.
Caciocavallo Cheese at The Publick House
Our chef at the Publick House loves using new and innovative ingredients in all of our dishes. One such dish is our Cauliflower Polpetti appetizer. In short, it is a sort of elevated vegetable fritter made with cauliflower and this type of cheese. They are a staple of “peasant cooking” but have come to reach a new level in the culinary world. To try for yourself, feel free to make a reservation or come in.