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Caciocavallo Silano

 

CACIOCAVALLO SILANO

 

Origin:

Italy - Basilicata, Calabria, Campania, Molise and Puglia.

 

Type:

Cow's or Sheep's milk.

 

Fat content:

45%

 

History:

Caciocavallo is a type of cheese made out of sheep's or cow's milk, originally produced in Sicily, but now spread all across Italy, and the Balkans. Caciocavallo has the European Union Protected designation of origin status.

Caciocavallo Silano (DOP) is a version of the cheese made with cow's milk in designated areas of Southern Italy, in the regions of Basilicata, Calabria, Campania, Molise and Puglia, and is, one of Italy's most historic cheeses, with mentions dating back to Hippocrates in 500 BC.

 

Characteristics:

Caciocavallo itself is widely produced throughout Southern Italy; however the Silano version of the cheese comes only from designated areas and is made only from cow's milk. Silano, a mountainous region in Calabria, is one source of the cheese, although it is produced in other regions as well. "Cacio" meaning cheese and "cavallo" meaning horse, refers to its aging method where two forms of the cheese are tied together with rope and draped over a beam, as if straddling a horse. The cheesemaking process for Caciocavallo Silano begins with the whey being heated to a temperature that permits it to be stretched and formed into different shapes, a tear-drop being the most commonly seen. The finished cheese is ripened for at least 15 days and aged before release for approximately 3 months. It is a smooth, semi-hard cheese with a stringy texture and a slightly spicy, salty tang. Although commonly eaten fresh when young, more mature versions make frequent contributions to pasta dishes of the region.

Related Cheeses

Provolone.

 

Appropriate Wines

A robust red is required to stand up to the spicy, tangy flavors of Caciocavallo Silano.

 

Bottom line

Caciocavallo is a truly exceptional cheese.  It is high in nutritional values and is used in dishes, cold and hot that exploit its smooth texture and slightly salty taste.  Caciocavallo is outstanding diced baked or grilled in pasta salads or in fondue-type dishes.  It is also used shredded on pasta dishes