Gennaro Auricchio began making provolone in 1877 in San Giuseppe Vesuviano, near Naples. His recipe focused on consistency of quality and craftsmanship which set his cheese apart from other local production. As demand grew, he decided to move his production to the Po Valley in the north, allowing him better access to the region’s premium milk supply. Auricchio Provolone is still made there today using fresh milk from surrounding farms.
This pasta filata, or stretched curd cheese, is kneaded and stretched while still hot and pliable, before being hand-formed into massive sausage-shaped rolls known as ‘salame.’ Handcrafting ensures a compact texture and prevents folds from forming in the curd which might trap air and compromise quality during the slow maturation process. Once formed, the salame are brined for more than a week before maturation.
The combination of animal rennet, specially selected cultures and minimum aging of around 2 months, results in a mild, milky flavour and soft, compact texture in this ‘dolce’ style of provolone. For those who prefer a ‘spicy’ flavour, try the long-aged provolone piccante style.
The bright, milky flavour of Provolone Dolce makes it a great addition to antipasti. Its excellent melting properties also make it a good choice for baked pasta and toasted focaccia.