Provolone Valpadana PDO

Towards the end of the 19th century, in particular after the Unity of Italy in 1861, some cheese makers from southern Italy moved their production to Lombardy, where there was a plentiful supply of cow’s milk, attracted by the possibility of improving their economic situation. They brought their knowledge and traditions with them and for the first time produced a stretched cheese very similar to present-day Provolone.
Today, although being made in modern cheese factories., Provolone Valpadana has kept its connotation as an artisanal cheese and since 1996 has been one of the Italian cheeses with Protected Designation of Origin.

 

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Description

Provolone Valpadana PDO

Pasteurized whole cow’s milk is coagulated at a temperature of 37°C for 15 minutes; for the production of mild Provolone, liquid calf rennet is used whilst for the sharp type, kid or lamb rennet in paste is used. The curd is broken down and cooked at 50°C until the right consistency is achieved. This is followed by the stretching phase in warm water and then the forming. The most surprising aspects of this cheese are the size and its typical shape, which can weigh from a few grams to over 100 kg. The characteristic pear, mandarin, melon, bottle and salami shapes refer to the need in the past of identifying the community of origin with a specific shape.
The paste, shaped in this way and cooled, is put into brine for a few days and then tied up with string and hung from special supports. The last phase of ageing differs according to the type of cheese to be obtained.
Provolone Dolce requires a minimum maturing period of a few days and for this reason is a paste with a delicate and buttery flavour, whereas Provolone Piccante has an intense and sharp flavour, due to the long ageing period which can even last for years for the largest sizes.
Excellent as a table cheese, in cooking it is particularly appreciated for its capacity to stretch and melt, blending perfectly with the other ingredients.

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