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Provolone Dolce.jpg
Country of origin Italy
Source of milk Cattle
Pasteurised Depends on cow variety
Texture Semi-hard
Aging time At least 4 months
Certification Provolone Valpadana:
D.O.: 9 April 1963
PDO: 21 June 1996[1]
Provolone del Monaco:
PDO: 11 February 2010[2]
Commons page Related media on Wikimedia Commons

Provolone (pronounced [provoˈloːne]) is an Italian cheese that originated in Casilli near Vesuvius, where it is still produced in pear, sausage, or cone shapes varying from 10 to 15 centimetres (4 to 6 inches) long. Provolone-type cheeses are also produced in other countries. The most important provolone production region is Northwestern Italy. Provolone, provola, and provoleta are versions of the same basic cheese. Some versions of provolone are smoked.[3]

History and varieties[edit]

The term provolone (meaning large provola) appeared around the end of the 19th century, when it started to be manufactured in the southern regions of Italy and assumed its current large size. The smaller sized variant is called provola [ˈprɔːvola] and comes in plain and smoked ("affumicata") varieties.

Modern provolone is a full-fat cow's milk cheese with a smooth skin, produced mainly in the Po River Valley regions of Lombardia and Veneto. It is produced in different shapes: like a very large sausage which may be up to 30 cm (1 ft) in diameter and 90 cm (3 ft) long,[citation needed] in a truncated bottle shape, and in a large pear shape with the characteristic round knob for hanging. The typical weight is 5 kg (11 lb).[citation needed]

Provolone is a semi-hard cheese with taste varying greatly from provolone piccante (sharp/piquant), aged for a minimum of four months and with a very sharp taste, to provolone dolce (sweet) with a very mild taste. In provolone piccante, the distinctive piquant taste is produced with lipase (enzyme) derived from goat. The Dolce version uses calf's lipase instead.

Both provolone valpadana and provolone del Monaco (from the Naples area of Italy) have received the DOP (Protected Designation of Origin) seal from the European Community.

In Brazil, Argentina, Bolivia and Uruguay, small discs of locally produced pulled-curd provolone of 10 to 15 cm (4 to 6 in) in diameter and 1 to 2 cm (12 to 34 in) in height are sometimes grilled until partially melted and eaten as a starter, often seasoned with herbs. The cheese when served this way is often called provoleta in Spanish.

Provolone is also produced in the United States. It finds many uses, including on pizzas and on sandwiches; in particular, the Philly cheesesteak is historically made with provolone.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Provolone Valpadana Denomination Information". European Commission. Retrieved August 3, 2013. 
  2. ^ "Provolone del Monaco Denomination Information". European Commission. Retrieved August 3, 2013. 
  3. ^ Great Chicken Dishes. p. 165.
  4. ^ Mucha, Peter. (23 May 2008). "Whiz on a cheesesteak: Hit or myth?". Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved 22 April 2011.