Moulded into pear shapes, this semihard cheese is made with buffalo or, predominantly, cow’s milk using a similar method to Provolone. The quite large cheeses are slung together in pairs and hung up to age. It has a firm paste and a smooth yellow rind. The best Caciocavallo comes from southern Italy, most famously from Sicily where it is often made in huge bricks, and contains 45% fat (dry). It may be found weighing 3-4 kg (6.5 - 9 lb). It is often smoked and is matured for 2-3 months for use as a table cheese and for 6-12 months for grating for which it is commonly used in place of Parmesan cheese. The flavour is mild and slightly sweet when young, tasting like a cross between Cheddar and Gruyère and growing sharper as it ages. It has the great quality of melting slowly, making it ideal of slow cooking dishes such as formaggio all'argenteria. I have seen several explanations for the name, including that is was first made when people rode on horseback carrying milk which turned to cheese, that it was made from mare's milk, and that the pairs of cheeses are hung over a beam (or cavallo) to age. (PDO).



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