Caciocavallo is a type of stretched-curd cheese made out of sheep's or cow's milk. It is produced throughout Southern Italy, particularly in the Apennine Mountains. Shaped like a tear-drop, it is similar in taste to the aged Southern Italian Provolone cheese, with a hard edible rind.
The Italian name of the cheese caciocavallo means "Cheese on horseback" and it is thought that the name derives from the fact that two cheese forms are always bound together with rope and then left to mature by placing them 'a cavallo', i.e. straddling, upon a horizontal stick or branch.
Apparently caciocavallo was mentioned the first time around 500BC by Hippocrates, emphasising the "Greeks' cleverness in making cheese". Types of cheese with names similar to "caciocavallo" are common throughout the Balkans and Southern Italy. In Sicily, the Ragusano DOP, known locally as "caciocavallo ragusano" had to drop the denomination "caciocavallo" in order to get DOP status.
Many different types of caciocavallo exist in Italy and several are recognized as Prodotto agroalimentare tradizionale (traditional regional food product) like Caciocavallo podolico (produced using only milk from the Podolica cattle breed) or Caciocavallo di Godrano (often called caciocavallo Palermitano).
Protected geographical status (PDO)
Caciocavallo Silano is made with cow’s milk in designated areas of Southern Italy, in the regions of Basilicata, Calabria, Campania, Molise and Puglia and gained protected geographical status in 1993.
In other languages
Albanian: Kaçkavall; Bulgarian and Macedonian Кашкавал; Romanian: Caşcaval; Serbian: Качкаваљ/Kačkavalj; Sicilian: Caciucavaddu; Turkish: Kaşkaval/Kaşar; Greek: Κασέρι; Arabic: Kashkawane (Arabic: قشقوان).
Each of these local speciality cheeses is different from both Caciocavallo Silano and each other.
- "Caciocavallo Silano DOP" (in Italian). Retrieved 22 September 2011.
- "Caciocavallo Silano DOP - Background". Retrieved 22 September 2011.
- "I formaggi storici di nicchia in Sicilia: aspetti produttivi e di mercato" (in Italian). December 2007. p. 62. Retrieved 22 September 2011.
- "Disciplinare di produzione della Denominazione di Origine Protetta "Caciocavallo silano"" (in Italian). Retrieved 22 September 2011.
- Cozzolino, Laura (September 3, 2013). "5 Most Expensive Cheeses in the World". Epoch Times. Retrieved 4 October 2013.
- Masseria Posticchia Sabelli Caciocavallo Silano DOP (English)(Italian)
- Producers' Association for the Protection of the Cheese Caciocavallo Silano DOP (English)
- Disciplinare di produzione della Denominazione di Origine del formaggio "Caciocavallo silano" (Italian) Media related to Caciocavallo at Wikimedia Commons