It is a traditional Sicilian caciocavallo produced by hand by the cheesemakers of the Nebrodi mountains, who hand down the cheesemaking technique from father to son.
The size varies according to the area of production, ranging from one kilogram in the North-Western Nebrodi (area of Mistretta, Castel di Lucio, Caronia), to one and a half kilograms, almost two kilos, in the Central Nebrodi (area of Floresta, Ucrìa, Castell’Umberto), to reach five kilos in the Eastern Nebrodi (Basicò, Montalbano Elicona).
The form is ovoidal, with the classical head of the caciocavalli (used in order to tie up the forms and to hang them).
It is produced with raw cow’s milk coagulated with lamb or kid rennet and then spun (throwing hot water on the mass). Before spinning, the paste of Provola dei Nebrodi is manipulated for a long time: a technique similar to the one used to knead bread, thanks to which the cheese tends to flake in the mouth.
The cheeses have a smooth, shiny, straw-colored amber crust. The flavor varies from sweet to spicy as the cheese ages. It is an excellent table cheese, but it is also used as an ingredient in some typical dishes.
The aim of the Presidium is to promote this ancient cheese as well as its wild and wooded territory. Endemic pastureland, a mainly indigenous cattle population and traditional cheese-making techniques become a “natural cultural microecosystem” containing the entire territory: man, animal, plant and soil.
The Presidium intends to make a contribution to defining and possibly improving the numerous production variants, to encourage greater aging of the cheeses and to make the Nebrodi Provola known to consumers throughout Italy, particularly restaurateurs and selectors.
Sebastiano Agostino Ninone, Mirto (Me), via S. Rocco 15, Tel. +39 0941 919403 / +39 338 5787033, firstname.lastname@example.org