Provolone is an authentic Italian cheese that has a soft but very dense composition. Over time, it hardens.
It's prepared from cow's milk, according to an old Italian recipe. Provolone is made in Veneto and Lombardy. Provolone is the elder brother in the family of our beloved Mozzarella.
The moisture level is what distinguishes the two cheeses. In Provolone, the moisture content is 45%, which is lower than the standard 52-60% in mozzarella. Provolone ripens more slowly, giving it a richer flavor than that of mozzarella.
The standard form of Provolone is round, but back in 1900, it was a sausage shape that became most popular because it was much more practical for hanging and cutting.
Types of Provolone
There are three types of Provolone - natural, spicy and sweet. Spicy Provolone has a very sharp taste, and its maturation process takes at least four months. Sweet Provolone has a very mild taste. Provolone is produced in countries such as China and the U.S., but the term Provolone Valpadana has a protected designation of origin and can only be made in Italy.
Selecting and Storing Provolone
Provolone is sold in larger specialty stores in the form of a sausage wrapped in opaque packaging. Pay attention to the information written on the label – the manufacturer and best before date. Store this cheese in the refrigerator, well wrapped to prevent drying. You might see Provolone in other forms, and the price for 100 grams is about 1.5 Euros.
Culinary Uses of Provolone
Provolone is an exceptional cheese that can be added to salads and other dishes. Optionally it can be garnished with grapes, figs, pears, peppers and olives. You can use Provolone for sprinkling on pizzas or roasted meat on the grill.
Provolone is used to make delicious, warm toast and like many other cheeses it goes great with a slice of tomato. Its taste is stronger than that of mozzarella, so wines suitable for it include Merlot, Sangiovese and Bordeaux.
Provolone is suitable for appetizers and desserts. Add it to omelets, fondue, pasta, casseroles, mashed potatoes. Its taste is especially delightful when melted in a soup or different types of sauces. It melts much more easily than other cheeses - cheddar, for example. Therefore, sliced Provolone is one of the best options for making hot sandwiches. You can use Provolone for making baked dishes with various vegetables.
Let us offer you an amazing recipe for spaghetti with tomato sauce and Provolone.
Preparation: Boil the pasta and in the meantime, cut the tomatoes in half and put them in a heated pan with the butter, garlic and capers. Season the spaghetti with the tomato sauce and before serving, grate Provolone on top.
Benefits of Provolone
Regardless of the type of milk used to make it, Provolone is a concentrated source of nutrients found in the milk, including calcium. It is an excellent source of high quality protein, an ideal snack for children. Moreover, it contains important substances such as riboflavin, phosphorus, zinc, vitamins A and B12.