Cilento’s Caciocavallo Cheese

Caciocavallo cheese, made from the milk of the famous Podolica cattle of southern Italy, is hard to beat! Hubby’s area in Cilento (around Salerno) is full of these grass-fed cows. The meat is 100% organic, only grass-fed and so good. And the cheese! Well, it’s simply out of this world!

This ancient cheese was first mentioned by Hippocrates, who reported it being made and eaten by the Greeks. And to me it nearly seems a symbol of Cilento. My father-in-law always had it on hand, because he received the cheese forms as payment for renting his pasture land out to farmers for their sheep, goats, or Podolica cattle!

Caciocavallo means “horse cheese”.

Cilento’s Podolica cattle

Not because it’s made from horse milk, but due to the fact that two cheese forms are often tied together with rope and then hung or dangled to dry by placing them over a cavallo, or horizontal stick or branch.

It’s a semi-soft pale yellow cheese with a slightly strong, earthy aroma and a stringy, springy texture. Since it’s 100% natural, even the rind is edible and good. And the salty, sharp, and tangy flavor goes well with bread, olives, and red wine, making a wonderful and light evening meal!

Caciocavallo ages well.

And once it’s aged is also great to take on trips, even horseback, as the rind hardens up a bit! It’s flavor only improves and deepens with age, taking on a slightly fruity flavor.

If you can find some, we highly recommend it! And for a special treat, slice and brown it in a slightly oiled (extra-virgin olive oil, of course) frying pan. Cast iron works best. Warm and melted it’s almost a heavenly delight, and especially good with Bruschetta!

Buon appetito!!

[Images our own.]

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