Caciocavallo silano: history and characteristics
The history of the caciocavallo silano
This cheese is without doubt one of the oldest and most typical pasta filata cheese of Southern Italy. In 500 BC, Hippocrates cited this product to highlight the skill of the Greeks in the preparation of cheese. The production area of caciocavallo silano cheese, characterized by a patchy configuration, is mainly located along the southern Apennine ridge and includes territories largely located in the regions: Basilicata, Calabria, Campania, Molise and Apulia.
The production of caciocavallo silano cheese begins by curdling the fresh milk at a temperature of 36-38°C using rennet in calf paste.
When the curd has reached the desired consistency, after a few minutes, it is broken to obtain lumps the size of a hazelnut.
Subsequently, the curd begins to ripen; this consists of a strong fermentation that lasts on average from 4 to 10 hours and can continue again, depending on the acidity of the processed milk, temperature, mass or other factors. The maturation of the curd is reached when it can be spun. Maturation times are monitored by taking, at short intervals, pieces of dough, immersed in almost boiling water to test its elasticity, i.e. to see if it can be spun.
At this point a typical operation is carried out, which consists in shaping a kind of cordon to obtain the desired shape. After that, each piece of dough will be closed at the top and quickly immersed in boiling water. This operation will be completed manually. The minimum time required for maturation is 30 days.
Quick and easy recipe: farfalle pasta with caciocavallo silano
Ingredients for 4 people
- 300 g of caciocavallo silano cheese
- 300 g farfalle pasta
- 300 g of cherry tomatoes
- 2 cloves of garlic, basil, parsley, mint, olives, oil, salt
Cook the pasta in plenty of salted water and drain when cooking is not yet finished. Pour them into a tureen. Put a pan on the fire, with oil and garlic cloves. When they are just browned, remove them, remove the pan from the heat, add a very fine chopped basil, mint and parsley and pour everything on the pasta.
Add the tomatoes cut into small pieces and the caciocavallo cheese cut into cubes. Stir quickly by carefully mixing the ingredients. Keep the farfalle pasta in a cool place until they are served.