Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Caciocavallo Superlatticini Lo Conte

Making Caciocavallo

The Italian name of these cheese means "Cheese on horseback" and it is thought that the name derives from the fact that two cheese forms are always bound together with rope and then left to mature by placing them 'a cavallo', i.e. straddling, upon a horizontal stick or branch*.

Fresh pasteurized milk is heated to between 30˚C and 40˚C and rennet (an extract from stomachs of young, milk-fed calves that helps form curds) is added, allowing the curds to separate from the liquid (whey). 

Our Cheesemakers then transfer the solids to a stainless steel vat where they pour reheated whey over the curds and leave them for several hours.

When the curds are ready, they are separated from the whey. 
The curds get worked for several minutes in hot water until pliable, and then the stretching process begins.
After stretching the curds are handmade to get the characteristic shape with a prominent ball on top, tied with a string, and are submerged in cold water to set. Next, the Caciocavalli shapes go into a saltwater brine called salamoia for 12 to 24 hours, depending on their size. The salt penetrates the cheese, which helps reduce the risk of bad bacteria and adds flavor.

The final stage: the cheese is straddled over a stick to age. The inspiration for the name caciocavallo, which means “cheese on horseback,” comes from the fact that  they resemble saddlebags. 

After sixty days, the slightly aged caciocavallo, known as semi-stagionato (medium-aged caciocavallo), has a sweet flavor redolent of the pastures the cattle graze on, and a creamy texture. 
A small percentage of the this streched-curd cheese will be moved into another room for an additional 60 to 120 days, and then brought to market as the stagionato version.
Caciocavallo Superlatticini Lo Conte has a deep gold yellow color and an intense aroma.  
Its distinctive fine mild flavor goes well with all your favorite dishes. 

A very feast for the senses!

Wine to drink with Caciocavallo: Aglianico rosé with the Medium-Aged, Taurasi DOCG with the Stagionato

*From Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caciocavallo