As I am a fan of Sicilian recipes my friend gave me a Sicilian recipe book.
In that book, I found lots of delicious and tempting recipes.
So, I decided to try out some of them.
Many recipes call for Caciocavallo cheese as a key ingredient.
But I was not able to find it in my local stores.
So, I was looking for a Caciocavallo cheese substitute.
When I researched online, I found some other cheeses that can be used as substitute for the Caciocavallo cheese.
After researching lot of stuff, I got to know that you can use Provolone, Mozzarella, Parmigiano Reggiano, Scamorza, Pecorino Romano cheese as a substitute.
I noticed provolone is the most similar cheese which works well as a substitute for Caciocavallo and I have been using it as a substitute for quite some time without affecting its original flavor and texture.
In this guide, we will talk about some essential types of Caciocavallo cheese and a good substitute which you can use for different recipes instead of Caciocavallo cheese.
What is Caciocavallo Cheese?
Caciocavallo cheese means “cheese on horseback”.
This cheese gets its name from the way of its processing.
It is tied together in a rope and hung-over wooden board for draining and aging.
In this process, two cheese forms are bound together with the help of rope.
Then it is left for aging by placing them in a Cavallo.
It is a type of stretched curd cheese that is shaped like teardrop which is made from sheep’s or cow’s milk.
It is mainly produced in southern Italy.
You can enjoy Caciocavallo cheese with a full-bodied wine, grated on top of some dishes or sliced and pan-fried to increase the flavors.
Different Types of Caciocavallo Cheese
There are different types of Caciocavallo Cheese that can be produced.
Caciocavallo di Agnone
This type of Caciocavallo is produced in and around the town of Agnone in the Molise region of Southern Italy.
This is the standard version of this type of cheese that comes in a milder or sharper in taste.
It is depending on the cheese has been curdled with either with lamb or kid rennet.
It can be aged from three months to one year.
Caciocavallo Silano DOP
This type of cheese has been made for ages.
Especially many areas in southern Italy have the official right to produce this type of Caciocavallo cheese.
The Caciocavallo Silano cheese is made after curdling milk.
The curds are left on board for many days which helps to enhance the acidity of cheese.
Then it is stretched and salted after that left in a cellar for aging.
It has an ivory rind with a golden yellow and has a tangy taste.
Caciocavallo del Monaco
This cheese is made with kid’s rennet.
The final cheese has a straw yellow to pale brown color.
The Monaco cheese is very hard and having a piquant taste. It has a very strong aroma.
Caciocavallo Podolico Alburni
Podolico is a type of cattle found in Southern Italy.
It is made with milk from Podolico cows. These cows consume not just grass but also mountain plants.
These are said to impact the properties of the milk produced and so as cheese. It is one of the expensive cheeses available nowadays.
Caciocavallo Podolico Picentino
This cheese is produced in the Campania region of Southern Italy.
This is a stretched curd cheese.
Picentino can be mild or tangy in taste. This depends on how long it has been matured.
Substitute for Caciocavallo Cheese
Provolone Cheese (Recommended)
Provolone cheese is a full-fat Italian cheese that is made from cow’s milk.
It is a semi-hard, pasta filata cheese, which is normally aged for at least 3 to 4 months.
The taste of the cheese depends on either of the two types of provolone cheese comes with two types: provolone dolce, which is sweet in taste, another type is Provolone Picante, which has a sharp taste.
Provolone and Caciocavallo chese both are Italian cheeses.
The Caciocavallo cheese is made exactly like Provolone bur the shape is different.
They both are the same other than shape.
Aged provolone is similar in flavor to Caciocavallo cheese. But it cooks with a different texture than Caciocavallo.
Mozzarella cheese is a traditional southern Italian cheese made from Italian buffalo’s milk. Now it is available as a curd cheese.
It is made with a pasta filata method. The Mozzarella cheese is generally white but it also comes in a slightly yellow color.
Because of the high moisture contained in Mozzarella cheese, it is consumed the day after it is made. It can be kept in brine for up to a week or longer.
Low-moisture mozzarella can be kept in a refrigerator for up to a month.
some shredded low-moisture mozzarella has a shelf life of up to six months.
The Process of making Caciocavallo and Mozzarella cheese is quite similar.
Mozzarella is pulled cheese like Caciocavallo.
It can be used on pizzas or casseroles for a Caciocavallo-like topping.
Mozzarella cheese is used in sandwiches, salads, and other dishes that typically call for Caciocavallo.
So, you can use Mozzarella cheese in some recipes that call for Caciocavallo interchangeably.
Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese
Parmigiano Reggiano is Italian hard and granular cheese which is made with unpasteurized cow’s milk.
It is sweet cheese with a hard dark yellow rind. This cheese is aged for 12-36 months.
The Parmigiano Reggiano can be eaten raw itself, grated over pasta dishes, or used in soups or Risotto.
If the recipe calls for Caciocavallo cheese, you can use this Parmigiano Reggiano cheese instead.
Scamorza cheese is South Italian cheese produced from spun cow’s milk.
As it is stretched curd cheese, fresh curd matures for several hours that allow acidity.
At the end of the cheese-making process, it is hanged together in strings and ripen for two weeks.
This semi-soft white cheese generally comes in a pear shape.
The texture of Scamorza cheese is elastic and stringy.
It comes with piquant, milky, and creamy flavor and perfect for melting.
It is tied with a string to hung to age. This cheese is made the same as Mozzarella.
In many dishes, Caciocavallo is used as a substitute for Mozzarella.
It is the same like Mozzarella, it means that it can stand as a trusted substitute for Caciocavallo too.
Pecorino Romano cheese
Pecorino is an Italian term that means “of Sheep”.
This is the hard salty cheese made with 100% sheep’s milk.
The history of Pecorino Romano cheese is dated back to Roman times. At that time it was a part of the staple diet of soldiers at war.
Even nowadays, this cheese is produced using traditional methods in the areas of origin.
Its aging time is from eight to 12 months gives it a dry and granular texture and a strong taste.
At the early stage, the cheese has a soft and rubbery texture and comes with a sweet and aromatic flavor.
The flavor develops sharper and smokier when aged for long.
It is produced throughout Sicily and the most widely produced aged cheese. It is a favorite of most folks for grating over pasta.
Though it comes with a sharp taste, is often less pungent and dryer than Caciocavallo cheese.
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So, these are the substitutes for Caciocavallo cheese. In my opinion provolone cheese is the best substitute for Caciocavallo cheese.
I have used Provolone cheese in many Sicilian recipes that call for Caciocavallo and they turn out perfect.
Even if you don’t find Provolone cheese you can use Mozzarella, Parmigiano Reggiano, Scamorza, Pecorino Romano cheese whichever is available to you.
And I know you will not go wrong with these other options too.
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