This Provola is a little more squashed and bellied than its cousin, the not very distant Nebrodi Provola, and it is produced in one of the richest in biodiversity areas in Italy: the Madonie. A mountainous land overlooking the sea: from its heights the sight ranges from Etna, to Nebrodi mountain chain and the Aeolian Islands.
Typical cow milk cheese, shaped as a pot-bellied flask and with a smooth and pale yellow thin crust. There are still many cheesemakers who produce it in a traditional way.
The raw and whole milk is heated to 37-38 ° C in the traditional wood casks and then the sheep rennet is added.
Once reaching the desired density, the curd is broken into grains of the size of a hazelnut and it is allowed to rest for some time, pouring hot water or serum. Then the mass is left to dry on a wooden table and cut into thin slices that are placed in a vat and are wet with water at 85 ° C.
At this point the dough spinning took place, handling it with hands and with the help of a stick.
When it reaches a good elasticity several small pears are formed (the classic provola is round with a very short “neck”) that are tied in pairs and hung astride a pole. From this practice comes the provola common name, which is “caciocavallo” (the italian translation of astride is in fact “a cavallo” and “cacio” means cheese), that is aged for at least 10, 15 days in a cool and ventilated environment. From this practice comes the provola common name, which is “caciocavallo” that is aged for at least 10, 15 days in a cool and ventilated environment. There is also a slightly smoked version.
The Presidio brings together the best artisan producers and works to define a disciplinary that guarantees this product traceability and high quality. Together with the project dedicated to the Madonie manna, the Presidio also intends to highlight the Madonie Regional Park extraordinary food production.
At the table
Madonie Provola is compact, soft, supple, sweet and delicate flavor. It should be accompanied with a local excellent hard wheat bread produced with natural yeast (lu criscenti) and baked in wood.
When the provola is fresh, be careful not to cover its fragrant milky scents: for this reason only very light and dry wines should be choosen to accompain it; to remain on the local wine varieties, try an Insolia. If it has a good seasoning, combine it with the classic Nero d’Avola. In the Madonie, among other things, it exists a production area for this wine.
Madonie Massif (Palermo province).