Imagine that you are in Italy waiting for guests. In fact, the local food consists of cheese, and nobody will dispute this statement. Pastas and pizzas, numerous salads and soups, cakes and pies - this all may contain cheese masterly used by Italian chefs and common cooks and housewives. When you come to this miraculous country you can always be sure you will never be hungry there and never limited to a scanty choice of meals. Quite the contrary - it will be a real task to choose what to order today, because all the dishes look so attractive and unusual that it is almost impossible to resist the temptation to try them all at once.
The same regards cheese, which every sort promises you unforgettable impressions. But in case you are not a connoisseur of the Italian cuisine you are recommended to taste first the dishes with Provolone cheese, as they are the most common and do not seem strange. Provolone cheese itself is very popular in all the regions of Italy, no matter the place of its making. Nowadays it is mostly produced in Piedmonte, Lombardy and Venice. It has the Protected Domination of Origin status, which guarantees the quality of the product and its accordance to the world standards of cheese making. So, if you still hesitate at a supermarket shelf with cheeses, being not aware of the quality offered, remember that Provolone cheese is approved as that meeting the requirements of the international community.
Provolone cheese is made of whole cow's milk and can be sold in two variants: Provolone Dolce and Provolone Piccante. Provolone Dolce is a sweet cheese with a mild taste. It has a smooth structure and is aged about two or three months before being ready. Provolone Piccante is a much sharper and firmer cheese with a strong flavor. It is matured no less than four months, but a more usual and often-met period of aging is six months to a year. Provolone cheese has a color from light-yellow to golden-brown depending on aging. The texture also differs: the matured cheese is firmer and more granular. Some cheese makers produce smoked cheese, which is also very popular, because it gives a special aroma and flavor to dishes.
The most popular recipes with Provolone cheese are pizzas and toasted sandwiches, as this product melts very well. You can also eat it with tomatoes, pears, grapes and beer. If you prefer wine try to find Dolcetto d'Alba - the Italian say you won`t find anything better. Each Italian knows tens of Provolone cheese recipes, and if you have a chance to visit this country do not hesitate. You will get a lot of pleasure eating delightful meals with cheese, which, surely, cannot be found in your home supermarkets. And though nowadays a lot of companies produce Provolone cheese around the world, it is not the same as the Italian one. So, delight a real taste of the Italian cuisine with its numerous variants of cheese and try to remember the recipes - they may come of use at home if you suddenly decide to surprise your friends and relatives with something truly Italian.