Caciocavallo Cheese Definition
Caciocavallo cheese is a salty Italian pasta cheese made from sheep’s or cow’s milk.
Caciocavallo means “cheese on horseback” and gets its name from being tied together with a rope and dangled over a wooden board to drain and age.
This specialty hails from the Southern Italian provinces of Abruzzo, Calabria, Campania, and Sicilia. The meaning of its name has been debated for centuries, but its Latin roots are Cacio - cheese and Cavallo - horse. Some historians think it is so named because it was initially made from mare's milk, others because it was transported on horseback. The most popular theory is that the name has nothing to do with a horse; instead, caciocavallo is a copy of an ancient Turkish cheese called qasqawal. The name's origins notwithstanding, caciocavallo is a traditional pasta filata (stretched curd) cheese made from cow's milk. Other pasta filata-type cheeses are mozzarella and provolone. Caciocavallo is gourd-shaped and comes to us in pairs, tied together by a rope that loops around the "neck" of each cheese. After an aging period of three months, this ancient cheese takes on a tangy, meaty flavor with hints of anise and almonds.