Caciocavallo earns its name, literally 'cheese on horseback', from the way duos of gourd-shaped rounds are rope-bound and slung over a wooden board to drain and age. This 360-degree exposure to age and ambient microbes develops sharp, spicy flavors, a development continued in our own caves, where the cheeses hang among other aging wheels, picking up deep, earthy undertones and fruity aromas. Prior to this flavor-enriching aging process, the cow's milk wheels are formed of warmed and stretched curd, spun into pasta filata globes, and submerged in a salamoia, or brine, for up to 24 hours. The result is like mozzarella on steroids or provolone with better manners- a layered, complex cheese, perfect for slicing aside a hunk of cacciatore and a glass of spicy Italian red, like Primitivo.
Just the Facts