Like Mozzarella, Provolone is made by the Pasta Filata process. Slightly piquant when young with a firm texture that becomes granular with age, Provolone is made with different cultures, resulting in a fuller, more assertive flavor than Mozzarella. In earlier times, Italian cheesemakers heated curing rooms for Provolone with wood fires, which imparted a slightly smoky flavor to the cheese. Today, Wisconsin cheesemakers produce both smoked and unsmoked Provolone.
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." If merchandised whole, be sure to label well so your customers know there is butter inside.
Retailers – A Mammoth Wisconsin Provolone “Giganti” grabs customers’ attention. During the holidays, take orders before you cut it. Announce the big day ahead of time and have a cutting party before the holiday rush. Mammoth Kits, available from the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board, help you plan your promotion.