Producers use more and different cultures to make Provolone than for Mozzarella. These additional cultures result in fuller flavors and allow Provolone to age well. In earlier times, Italian cheesemakers heated curing rooms with wood fires, which imparted a slightly smoky flavor to the cheese. Today, Wisconsin cheesemakers produce smoked and unsmoked Provolone.
Slightly piquant when young becoming sharper as aged. Firm texture becomes granular with age.
Ivory to pale beige.
Firm, becoming more granular with age.
Full flavor that intensifies and sharpens with age.
Top bruschetta with shredded Provolone; bake until golden. Add diced tomatoes, toasted pine nuts and minced scallions; serve immediately. Use a Mozzarella and Provolone blend on pizzas, veal or chicken parmigianas, lasagnas and casseroles. Top crocks of flavorful chicken soup with Provolone. Broil until the cheese melts and bubbles.
Goes Well With
Cured meats, tomatoes, pears, grapes, figs Beaujalais, Late Harvest Gewurztraminer, Italian beers, lager beers.
Bulk: 600-pound Giganti (7 feet long), 200-pound Giganti, 8-pound to 1-pound Salamini (little Salami), 15- to 20-pound Campane (bell), 20- to 40-pound Pear, 20- to 25-pound Mandarini Shredded: 10-pound bag, 5-pound bag Traditional Shapes: 5-pound Bocci (balls), 2-pound Boccini (little balls), 1-pound Campanelle (little bell), 3-pound, Manteche Provolone molded around sweet cream butter Retail: random- and exact-weight, shredded 4- to 16-ounce bag.
Producers originally tied rope around Provolone to hang it in the curing rooms. The rope also came in handy for transporting the cheese on horseback. In Italian, the plural of Provolone is Provoloni, pronounced "Provolone´ee." Manteche is made by hand, wrapping mild Provolone around sweet cream butter. As the cheese ages, the butter becomes cultured and takes on the flavor of the cheese. Originally, this cheese provided a way to keep butter without refrigeration. In Italy, these are sometimes called "Burrini."