Present in Italy since ancient times, Caciocavallo Silano is one the most well-known and appreciated Italian aged cheeses. Its name refers to the technique (still used) of hanging the cheeses in pairs, tied with a string, to age across a beam. In fact the word Caciocavallo should be interpreted as “cacio a cavallo”, where cavallo (literally horse) means the way the cheese (cacio) is hanged across the beam. The PDO certification (DOP in Italian) proves that it is made with raw cow’s milk only, which is exclusively produced in Italy and following precise procedures.
The taste is flavourful and delicate and the texture is hard. Full of nutrients, unlike the smoked caciocavallo it is fire-branded with the pine tree of the Protection Consortium.
How Caciocavallo Silano PDO is made
There is a precise, traditional process that a dairy factory must follow in order to obtain a Caciocavallo Silano PDO Certificate.
First of all the milk: it can be used raw or warmed at 58°C in the dairy factory for 30 seconds (in this case it has to be indicated on the label), and the milking must not be done more than four consecutive times during the two days before production. It is made exclusively with cow’s milk coming from the designated geographical area.
After cheese curdling and ripening, it’s time for kneading and modelling. The latter process is absolutely handmade and left in the capable hands of expert cheese masters. The new cheese shapes are therefore tied in pairs and hanged across a beam to mature for at least 30 days.
The last step, only when the cheese is ready to be commercialized, is the firebrand.
How should I taste a Caciocavallo Silano?
This cheese has a distinctive flavour, intense but always balanced. This is why Caciocavallo Silano is excellent either natural or grilled and used in different and refined recipes.
One of these is called “bombette pugliesi”, pork rolls filled with Caciocavallo, sometimes wrapped in bacon slices, and char-grilled.
A red wine is usually the best combination.