Translated from Italian, caciocavallo means cheese on horseback. This is because of the specific way in which this delicacy is produced and packaged. Legends claim that originally it was made from mare's milk.
Unfortunately, there are no historical records of this. The most realistic supposition about the origin of the name comes from the fact that during production the curd is left to dry on top of a horizontally-placed stick or branch, as if riding a horse.
Caciocavallo Silano is a a variety of the traditional Caciocavallo cheese, characteristic of the island of Sicily. It is made only from cow butter in the southern regions of Italy - Basilicata, Calabria, Campania, Molise and Apulia.
Historical data shows that Caciocavallo cheese was known about back in Magna Graecia. Today, in different countries it goes under different variations.
Plain caciocavallo cheese comes under many forms. Most often it is tear-shaped. It has a fine and smooth rind, the color of a chestnut. It is hard but edible. Inside, it is white-colored with small holes all over. It possesses a strong, characteristic smell.
In cooking, caciocavallo is used on its own, as well as an ingredient for hot and cold sandwiches. As with other cheeses, it is put in appetizers and various dishes. Its distinct taste makes it suitable for the preparation of light desserts, most commonly in combination with grapes. It is also used to sprinkle on top of fresh salads.
Here is an easy recipe with this flavorful dairy product.
Bread with Caciocavallo Cheese
Preparation: Mix the flour, yeast, salt and sweetener in a bowl and stir. Add the oil, caciocavallo, oregano, salt and eggs. Beat with a mixer for about 10 min. until you get a smooth dough. With lightly greased hands, form a ball from the dough. Let it rise at least twice, for about 2 hours.
From the dough, shape a roll, place it atop baking paper. Leave it for 30 min. to rise. Smear with egg on top and sprinkle with some grated caciocavallo. Bake the bread in a preheated moderate oven for about 30 min.