Caciocavallo Silano is on of the most famous cheeses of Southern Italy, in particular of the Sila, a wide Mountain land in Calabria, where it is produced. This cheese has very ancient origins, that, however, did not prevent manufacturers to preserve its original characteristics, allowing Caciocavallo Silano to obtain the PDO mark.
HISTORY AND CURIOSITIES
Caciocavallo Silano is considered a very important cheese for the Italian gastronomy. Its production is so old as to be mentioned by Hippocrates, a Greek physician and philosopher, who lived between 460 and 370 BC. in one of his many books dedicated to the art and the cooking of foods, he speaks for the first time about "cacio".
This cheese were ably produced by Greeks and Romans, that became important for this fact. After Hippocrates, also Pliny - in one of his treatises dedicated to cheese - described and exalted the unique features of "butirro", an ancestor of the modern caciocavallo, defining it "very delicate food".
Afterward this cheese has managed to preserve unchanged its original features, becoming the ideal food for the ancient farmers of Southern Italy. Thanks to the extreme respect of the traditional recipe and production methods, Caciocavallo Silano has managed to gain the PDO mark since 1996.
The name "caciocavallo" is related to the fact that cheese forms were bounded in a couple, hanging them straddled across wooden beams, ready for the maturing process. The second part of the name, "Silano", derives - ad we can easily guess - from its place of origin and production.
TASTE AND CHARACTERISTICS
The most particular characteristic of Caciocavallo Silano is its shape, with an oval body and a small ball on top. Actually, the presence of the small ball is not necessary, but it represents certainly one of the most immediate features of Caciocavallo. The two parts are divided by a marked neck, due to the cords used to bind the couples togheter.
The rind is smooth, thin, pale yellow and it becomes more intense during the seasoning. Inside, Caciocavallo Silano has different characteristics, depending on the maturation period. After some weeks, the hard cheese assumes a more intense, the typical holes appear and the taste becomes more spicy.