A native of the Casilli region of Italy near Vesuvius, Provolone is a fairly recent cheese by Italian standards, appearing first in the 19th century.
It’s a large pear – or sausage shaped, semi-hard cheese made from cow’s milk primarily in the Lombardy and Veneto regions. Both Provolone Valpadana and Provolone del Monaco have been granted PDO designation by the European Union, ensuring the cheese is produced under strict supervision to guarantee supreme quality.
Although the flavour and texture of Provolone varies from region to region, there are only two styles of Provolone. Dolce which is aged for just 2-3 months and is white to pale yellow in colour with a sweet taste. And Piccante which is aged over 4 months and is much sharper. Both are high in calcium and protein, but also high in sodium – which makes them very popular in many Italian recipes. Like all cheeses, it should be stored loosely wrapped in waxy paper and sealed in a plastic container before refrigeration.