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What is caciocavallo and what is it eaten with
What is caciocavallo and what is it eaten with

"Kachokavallo" is translated into Russian as "cheese on the back of a horse." We found out where this strange name came from and why this cheese needs to be included in your diet.

What is caciocavallo and what is it eaten with
What is caciocavallo and what is it eaten with

Cachocavallo: what kind of cheese?

Caciocavallo is a semi-hard cheese popular in southern Italy. It belongs to the pasta filata family, that is, to extract cheeses. Its closest relatives are mozzarella, provolone and suluguni. Cacocavallo is usually produced from cow's milk, sometimes diluting it with sheep's milk.

The milk is filtered and heated to 38 ° C, then the sourdough and rennet are added to it and the mixture is left for 10 minutes. After that, the whey is removed, and the mass is cut into small pieces the size of beans. They should be infused for 10 hours, at which time the cheese maker periodically makes samples: he throws small pieces of mass into hot water and assesses their elasticity.

When the lumps reach the desired state, the next stage of cooking begins. The mass is thrown into hot water and kneaded. Traditionally, cheesemakers do it with their bare hands. In water, the mass heats up, sticks together and turns into long threads. They are pulled out for a long time, eliminating all voids.

Then the cheese is shaped into a ball or bar and placed in salt water for several hours. After that, the cachocavallo is tied in pairs and thrown over the crossbar - in this position he spends from a month to two years. By the way, it is precisely because of this method of storage that the Cachocavallo has an unusual shape of the pouch.

The taste of cacocavallo can be sweet, salty or piquant - it all depends on the ripening period.

Historical reference

How did the caciocavallo appear?
How did the caciocavallo appear?

Caciocavallo is a cheese with a long history. The first mentions of him appeared in the 4th century BC in Greece: Hippocrates admired his taste in one of his treatises.

Later, the ancient Romans borrowed the recipe from the Greeks. In the 1st century AD, the Roman writer Pliny the Elder wrote about the unique recipe of caciocavallo - at that time it was called butirro.

Since the recipe got to the Apennine Peninsula, Cacocavallo has become a regular guest on the table of farmers in southern Italy, especially in Sicily. The method of preparation remained unchanged, and in 1996, Cacocavallo received the DOP label (Denominazione di Origine Protetta - name with protected origin). It ensures that the product is only produced in a location where the combination of climate, environmental conditions and human factors give the cheese its unique flavor.

There are analogues of kachokavallo in the countries of the Balkan Peninsula (for example, in Serbia it is called kachkaval), in Syria (kashkavan), in Turkey (kashkaval). And in Egypt, Caciocavallo was nicknamed "Roman cheese".

"Horse cheese" or "cheese on the back of a horse"?

The name is translated from Italian very funny - "cheese on the back of a horse" (di cacio e cavallo). Another common option is horse cheese. There are several versions of why it began to be called that way.

  1. Due to the ripening method: the cheese is thrown over a crossbar that resembles the back of a horse. By the way, in Italy there is an expression "to end like a caciocavallo", that is, "to be hanged."
  2. At first, Caciocavallo was made from mare's milk.
  3. The name was given to the cheese during the time of the Kingdom of Naples: then the cheese was stamped in the shape of a horse.
  4. Cheese has been popular with nomadic shepherds since ancient times. They cooked the caciocavallo in the field, and then transported it with them, throwing it over the back of the horse.

Now you can easily find and try kachokavallo in Russia. It is produced by the Umalat company, which specializes in gastronomic fresh cheeses. There is no doubt about the authenticity of the taste of cacocavallo. "" Works on modern European equipment under the control of Italian technologists, including Alfio Mazucchi.

Types of caciocavallo

There are several types of Cachocavallo cheese. They differ in the type of milk and rennet used, in the presence of filling, in shape. But the most popular classifications are according to the aging period and the region of production.

Types of cachocavallo by aging

  • Semi-stagnato … The youngest. Ripens in 40-60 days and has a sweetish taste.
  • Stagnato … Matures from 3 to 6 months. Dryer, with a salty spicy taste.
  • Stagnato extra … It matures up to 2 years, resulting in a hard cheese with a rich and complex taste, notes of spices and nuts appear in it. The crust of the cheese can be covered with natural mold. This is the most expensive type of caciocavallo.

I am very proud that Umalat is making Cachocavallo. It is a traditional product of the south of Italy. One of the features of the cacocavallo is the small holes that give the cheese a special flavor. They are created by natural microorganisms.

To fully enjoy the taste of cacocavallo, do not cut it into very thin slices. Cheese can be served as an independent snack, combined with bread or pasta, added to pizza or light vegetable salad. You can also fry the caciocavallo in a pan, but do not remove the skin of the cheese so that it does not lose its shape during frying. By the way, you don't need oil for frying: Cachocavallo itself is quite fatty.

Types of caciocavallo by region of production

  • Cachocavallo "Silano" … The recipe for this cheese appeared in the commune of Sillano. It is made only from cow's milk. Silano's crust is smooth, pale yellow in color. The shape is necessarily in the form of a bag: an oval base and a small circle on top.
  • Cachocavallo "Ragusano" … Cooked in Sicily. In shape, the Ragusano Cacocavallo resembles a bar, its crust has a more intense yellow, sometimes even orange or brown color. Ragusano is prepared in large pieces weighing 12-16 kg.
  • Cachocavallo "Podoliko" … One of the most expensive cheeses in the world. It is made from the milk of rare Podoliko cows, which are bred in the southern regions of Italy, including Abruzzo, Basilicata and Calabria. Cows of this breed give very little milk, but it is rich in healthy fats and proteins. Animals graze on alpine meadows all year round, so the cheese retains the taste of herbs, and if the milk was collected in summer, even shades of strawberry appear in it. Withstand "Podoliko" longer than other types of cacocavallo: it can be stored for up to 12 years.
  • Cachocavallo "Palermitano" … Produced in the municipality of Godrano from cow's milk using lamb rennet. In shape, "Palermitano" is similar to "Ragusano". Its crust is thin and smooth, amber in color.

Why is caciocavallo useful?

Why is caciocavallo useful?
Why is caciocavallo useful?

Cachocavallo is a rich and high-calorie cheese: 100 grams of the product contains more than 300 kilocalories, about 30 grams of fat and 26 grams of protein.

In addition, there are many useful substances in cachocavallo:

  • calcium and phosphorus - strengthen bones and teeth, maintain muscle tone, promote metabolism;
  • vitamin A - improves skin condition;
  • vitamin B2 - strengthens the immune system, regulates the thyroid gland, improves vision;
  • sodium - normalizes the water-salt and acid-base balance.

What is a caciocavallo with?

Caciocavallo is a great wine appetizer. Semi stagnato and stagnato, for example, go well with white wine, and extra stagnato with red wine (Chianti or Nebbiolo). Young cheese and cacocavallo stagnato can be served with fruits: pear, cherry or melon, and extra stagnato with salami.

Original recipes with cacocavallo

Cachocavallo can be used to make pizza or pasta: it melts well, and aged dense cheeses can even be grated.

Together with the “Combinator” service for the search for proven recipes and unusual combinations, we have found interesting and healthy dishes with cacocavallo.

Eggplant with cacocavallo

Baked eggplant with a brown cheese crust is an easy-to-cook, healthy and beautiful dish. It is perfect for a simple lunch or dinner, and for a festive table.

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Lasagne with seafood

A new interpretation of the traditional Italian lasagna recipe. The role of minced meat is played by a fried seafood cocktail. And the combination of caciocavallo, mozzarella and béchamel sauce adds a creamy taste to the dish. This lasagna will surprise even gourmets.

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Risotto with pear and cacocavallo cheese

Golden rice, sweet pear and creamy cacocavallo go well together. This non-standard and tasty dish can be served for lunch or dinner.

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Stuffed peppers with brown rice and vegetables

A light and tasty dish for a home dinner or a festive table. To make the stuffed peppers, you only need nine ingredients and half an hour.

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Puff pastry sticks stuffed with cheese and herbs. These Italian baked goods are a great option for breakfast or a snack. To eat grissini in the morning, it is not necessary to cook them in the evening: the sticks are baked for only 10-15 minutes.

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Cachocavallo Unagrande is recommended to be kept suspended by a string. If you cut the cheese, then you need to eat it within two weeks.

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