Caciocavallo [ˌkatʃokaˈvallo] is a type of stretched-curd cheese made out of sheep's or cow's milk. It is produced throughout Southern Italy, particularly in the Apennine Mountains and in the Gargano peninsula. Shaped like a teardrop, it is similar in taste to the aged Southern Italian Provolone cheese, with a hard edible rind.

Whole cheese and cut into pieces
Country of originItaly
Source of milkSheep or cow milk
CertificationPDO (Caciocavallo Silano)
Related media on Commons


The Italian name of the cheese caciocavallo literally means "horse cheese" and it is generally thought that the name derives from the fact that two cheese forms are always bound together with rope and then left to mature by placing them 'a cavallo', i.e. straddling, upon a horizontal stick or branch.[1]


Apparently caciocavallo was mentioned the first time around 500 BC by Hippocrates, emphasising the "Greeks' cleverness in making cheese".[2] Columella in his classic treatise on agriculture, De re rustica (35–45 CE), described precisely the methods used in its preparation, making it one of the oldest known cheeses in the world.[3] Types of cheese with names similar to "caciocavallo" are common throughout the Balkans and Southern Italy. In Sicily, the Ragusano DOP, known locally as "caciocavallo ragusano" had to drop the denomination "caciocavallo" in order to get DOP status.[4]


Many different types of caciocavallo exist in Italy and several are recognized as prodotto agroalimentare tradizionale (traditional regional food product) like caciocavallo podolico (produced using only milk from the Podolica cattle breed), caciocavallo di Castelfranco (from Miscano valley in the Apennines) or caciocavallo di Godrano (often called caciocavallo palermitano).

Protected geographical status (PDO)

Caciocavallo Silano is made with cow's milk in designated areas of Southern Italy, in the regions of Basilicata, Calabria, Campania, Molise, and Apulia, and gained protected geographical status in 1993.[5]

In other languages

Albanian: kaçkavall;
Bosnian: kačkavalj;
Bulgarian and Macedonian кашкавал kashkaval;
Romanian: cașcaval;
Serbian: качкаваљ/kačkavalj;
Sicilian: caciucavaddu;
Turkish: kaşkaval/kaşar;
Hebrew: קשקבל kashkaval;
Greek: κασκαβάλι kaskavali, κασέρι kaseri;
Arabic: قشقوان kashkawane.

Even though the names are similar, each of these local speciality cheeses is different from both Caciocavallo Silano and each other.

See also

Further reading

  • Cianflone, Eugenio (2013). "John Ray and Caciocavallo Cheese". Notes and Queries. 60 (1): 84–85. doi:10.1093/notesj/gjs219.


  1. "Caciocavallo Silano DOP" (in Italian). Retrieved 22 September 2011.
  2. "Caciocavallo Silano DOP - Background". Archived from the original on 11 September 2011. Retrieved 22 September 2011.
  3. Carr, Sandy (1981). The Simon and Schuster pocket guide to Cheese. New York: Simon and Schuster. p. 84. ISBN 0-671-42475-0. OCLC 7459647.
  4. "I formaggi storici di nicchia in Sicilia: aspet on ti produttivi e di mercato" (PDF) (in Italian). December 2007. p. 62. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2 April 2012. Retrieved 22 September 2011.
  5. "Disciplinare di produzione della Denominazione di Origine Protetta "Caciocavallo silano"" (PDF) (in Italian). Archived from the original (PDF) on 4 October 2011. Retrieved 22 September 2011.

Media related to Caciocavallo at Wikimedia Commons

This article is issued from Wikipedia. The text is licensed under Creative Commons - Attribution - Sharealike. Additional terms may apply for the media files.