Type of milk
Provolone is a stringy paste cheese typical of southern Italy which was introduced to Lombardy in the first half of the eighteenth century by Neapolitan cheese makers. Today, it is considered a traditional product of Lombardy, Emilia, the Veneto and the Trento area, so much so that it was awarded denomination of controlled origin(DOC) status in 1993 under the name ‘Valpadana Provolone’. It is a cheese produced in a great variety of formats. The largest, most suitable for a long ripening period are called ‘mandarone’ (large tangerine), due to their similarity of form to the fruit, and ‘pancettone’ (large ‘pancetta’ – a kind of salume) whose weight in excess of 100 kilos is the largest existing cheese both in Italy and, possibly, the rest of the world. It can also be eaten fresh but its most interesting features develop after a long (more than one year) ripening in an appropriate environment.