In Romania, cașcaval (Romanian pronunciation: [kaʃkaˈval]) is used to refer to a number of types of yellow semi-hard cheeses made of sheep's or cow's-milk. The term is often used by extension as a generic name for all semi-hard yellow cheeses such as the Swiss Emmental cheese, the Dutch Gouda and the British Cheddar, or anything that looks similar to cașcaval.
The name cașcaval comes from Latincaseus (cheese) and caballus (horse).
Another theory exists. Some Slovenians historians said the Aromanian population, a native Balkan people (pejoratively Tzintars in Greek usage), created cașcaval. As in Romanian, the word caș means in Aromanian (Tzintar) language cheese. In the Italian name caciocavallo, the word cavallo (horse in English) remember the seasonal movement of the Aromanians with their horses and livestock between fixed summer and winter pastures (transhumance).
During the communist regime, because of the food shortages, Romanian housewives developed a technique for a homemade pressed cheese, similar to cașcaval, made out of milk, smântână, butter and eggs.
In Bulgaria kashkaval is a traditional food used in most of the breakfast pastry. One of the most common dishes with kashkaval is kashkavalka which is a little pastry containing kashkaval inside and on top. Like in the other Balkan countries, it is a major substitute for all other kinds of cheese, especially in pizzas. Another popular Bulgarian snack is Princess (Bulgarian: принцеса) which is a toasted slice of bread topped with melted kashkaval, often with grilled beef mince in the middle.
In Lebanon and Syria, this type of cheese is also called kashkawan (Arabic: قشقوان). It is very popular and is generally imported from countries such as Bulgaria; it is sometimes used as a topping for manakish.