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Provolone Valpadana DOP is a semi-hard cheese with a spun paste, produced in the Dolce and Piccante types. It is produced from raw whole milk of cows raised exclusively in the provinces of Cremona, Brescia, Verona, Vicenza, Rovigo, Padua, Piacenza and adjoining municipalities of the territories of Bergamo, Mantua, Milan and Trento.
Created in the south of Italy, this cheese only spread to the Po Valley after the unification of Italy, thanks to the work of the Margotta brothers, Gennaro Auricchio and Giovanni Carbonelli, who were responsible for introducing it to the lower Brescia, Cremona and Lodi areas respectively.
Different because of its large size compared to other pasta filate cheeses, provolone can take on different shapes: salami, melon, cone, pear, even surmounted by a small spherical head. The paste is obtained through the curdling of milk with the addition of calf rennet for the Dolce production or lamb and/or kid rennet for the Piccante type. It is then spun, shaped, salted and matured.
In the kitchen
Regardless of its variants, Provolone Valpadana DOP is excellent both as a table cheese and as an ingredient in various dishes. The Dolce type is appetizing for stuffing salads or preparing appetizers. The Spicy type is, instead, delicious accompanied with curls of fresh butter but also in pies, fondues and as a filling for pasta.