Caciocavallo from Ragusa explained
We use it into our Anelletti alla Palermitana and on top of typical Sfincione (the Sicilian pizza): the Caciocavallo cheese from Ragusa – aka “Ragusano” – is a must in our Cucina Siciliana!
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Chef Enzo Oliveri (pictured here) purchases this cheese because of its unique taste and flavour: as its Consortium explains on its website, it is a stretched-curd cheese, characterised as being obtained by a stretching process carried out using hot water at 70-80°C.
His strange name “Caciocavallo” is related to the way it is produced: “the cheeses are tied together in pairs with thin ropes and hung on wooden beams (in Italian “cacio” is cheese and “a cavallo” means “over the horseback “). In order to qualify for the PDO trademark the cheese must ripen for at least 3 months; this stage may also take more than 12 months.
Each Ragusano “is parallelepiped in shape with a colour that varies from gold or straw yellow to brown, it has a square cross-section and rounded corners (due to the rope used to hang cheeses during the maturing process); the rind bears the imprint of the cheesemaker, the trademark (Ragusano DOP), its serial number and the hot brand of quality-certification.
Its weight varies from 12 to 16 kg”.
The Ragusano attended Expo 2015 in Milan. In other regions in Southern Italy you’ll find the Caciocavallo in a teardrop shape with a knot at the top.
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