Discover the best Apulian cheeses
Hard cheese, fresh dairy products, cold cuts, fresh pasta, wine and extra virgin olive oil are just some of the gastronomic excellences which have made Puglia a must see travel destination.
Every year there are many tourists, coming from every part of the world, who choose Puglia as a destination to taste the traditional Apulian dishes.
Thanks to Terrachevive.com, however, you can do much more! In fact, you can visit the places where local specialties are produced. Farmhouses, agritourism, wineries, oil mills, and much more. Among all these, of course, the place of honor goes to the cheese factories and the many Apulian dairy products.
Come with us and visit the production facilities of hard cheeses and fresh dairy products to catch a glimpse of the master cheese makers practicing their ancient art.
Our guided tours, besides showing how the production processes take place, always include a tasting of typical Apulian products.
Are you ready for an unforgettable culinary experience? Welcome to the land of taste!
Recommended cheeses to taste in Puglia
1 TRADITIONAL CACIOCAVALLO
The Apulian caciocavallo, also called “provola” in other regions, has two characteristics that make it distinctive: its shape as a bag (spherical with a small extremity that creates a kind of head) and its very unique taste, which is delicate and sweet.
It undergoes very different seasoning, both in terms of duration (from 3 months to 3 years) and of location (caves, refrigeration cells, etc.).
As with the most prized Apulian cured meat, Capocollo, caciocavallo can also undergo a slow smoking process (with the bark of Fragno wood, an oak tree typical of the Valle d’Itria).
The traditional recipe is also sometimes enriched with different types of spices such as pepper and chilli pepper.
2 PODOLIAN CACIOCAVALLO
Podolian caciocavallo is produced with milk from cows of the Podolica breed reared in the wild. These are mainly located in the hilly areas of Gargano (in the north of Puglia).
Unlike the classic Apulian caciocavallo, it is only produced during certain periods of the year.
Moreover, its long aging period of 7 up to 9 months gives it a stronger taste than the classic caciocavallo, slightly spicy with notes of aromatic herbs. A real delicacy that must be tasted!
3 DRUNK CACIOCAVALLO
This exceptional typical cheese is aged using one of the Apulian wine excellences: the famous Primitivo. It is left in the marc of the Primitivo wine variety for a few days. The caciocavallo then undergoes the traditional seasoning process in the cellars, at the end of which the product turns purple and has a spicy and fruity flavour.
This mixture of flavours reflects the many different aspects of Puglia.
4 CAVE-RIPENED CACIOCAVALLO
This Apulian cheese has a sharp, creamy flavour due to its long ageing period of up to three years. This takes place in stone areas dug into the subsoil allowing constant humidity and temperature conditions, which cannot be replicated in mechanically refrigerated cells. The ripening process is therefore completely natural.
Its particularly hard and brightly coloured rind is the result of the proliferation of moulds, which give the cheese its very unique taste. Definitely a must if you love strong flavours!
Cacioricotta is certainly one of the most popular typical Apulian cheeses. It can be made with cow’s, goat’s or sheep’s milk (more precisely with just one of them or with a mixture of them). The only difference is in the flavour, which can be less intense (if cow’s milk is used) or more intense (if goat’s/sheep’s milk is used).
Traditionally, it was ripened in the open air, but today it is ripened for about 15 days in special rooms with constant temperature and humidity.
It has a unique, small, rounded shape and is delicious if eaten alone or as a dressing for various local recipes (among which the most famous is orecchiette with tomato sauce, basil, extra virgin olive oil and cacioricotta cheese).
6 RICOTTA FORTE
A real delicacy, much appreciated for its versatility: it is both a hard cheese and an excellent spreadable cream. Let us introduce you to one of the tastiest typical Apulian products: ricotta forte. With its spicy flavour and intense aroma, it can be used in a variety of ways: it can be spread on slices of bread, used as a dressing for the typical Apulian panzerotti or as an additional ingredient for pasta with tomato sauce. Try it if you love strong flavours!
7 CANESTRATO PUGLIESE
A typical Apulian cheese that combined with a typical Apulian craft product, this is the canestrato. It is a pecorino cheese with a strong flavour, ripened for about 6 months in rush baskets hand-woven by artisans or expert farmers. The seasoning process can take place either in a cave or in a refrigerated room.
The sheep from which the milk is obtained are bred in the Murge area with a grazing feeding that gives this cheese its distinctive aromatic notes.
8 PECORINO FROM MURGE
This milk from sheep reared in the Murge region is also used for another excellent Apulian product: pecorino. Compared to canestrato, it is ripened for a shorter period and its flavour is sweeter.
9 PECORINO RIPENED IN HAY
Like caciocavallo, pecorino can also be subjected to different methods of seasoning. One of these is under a layer of hay for about 2 months.
10 DRUNK PECORINO
If the pecorino you will taste here in Puglia has a burgundy-coloured rind, it means it has been “drunk”. This ripening process consists of storing it in barrels together with layers of Primitivo di Manduria marc.
11 PECORINO RIPENED IN ASHES
Pecorino is a typical Apulian cheese that can be seasoned in different ways. This particular one is done by placing the product under a thick layer of olive ash for about 4 months.
Our local Apulian cheese tasting tours
Got curious? Would you like to taste all or some of the best typical Apulian cheeses?
Terrachevive.com has the right gastronomic experience for you! All you have to do is to select one of our various food and wine offers:
- Tasting of Apulian specialties in a farmhouse;
- A visit to the cheese factory to discover how Apulian cheeses and dairy products are made;
- Cooking lesson with a professional cheesemaker to learn the secrets of the art of cheese-making;
- Food and wine menu focusing on Apulian dairy products.
How to book your cheese experience in Puglia
Contact us by filling out the form available on this page indicating the number of participants.
Alternatively, you can send us an email to the following email address: [email protected]
We will reply as soon as possible providing you with all necessary information to make you live an unforgettable experience in Puglia.
Come and enjoy it too, we are waiting for you!