Last Updated : Oct 07,2017
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Provolone is a vintage Southern Italian cheese, produced in varying shapes and sizes. This whole milk, sharp tasting cheese can be found shaped like a large tube of salami, going upto 30cm in diameter and upto 90cm in length. Provolone while being a semi-hard cheese is often shaped to look like a pear, a bottle and sometimes even shaping up to look like a large watermelon with a characteristic round knob for hanging. From the sharp tasting Piccante which is aged for a minimum of 4 months to the sweet Dulce, which has an enticingly sweet taste to it, Provolone is in fact a distinctly diverse cheese that has a popular variant produced and sold in both North America and Japan.
Chopped provolone cheese
Place the cheese slab on a chopping board and chop it into small pieces. The cheese can be finely or roughly chopped into big chunks as per the recipe requirement.
Grated provolone cheese
This requires grating the cheese slabs on a hand held grater. The grated cheese is fine in texture and is used for making baked dishes like au gratin or casseroles.
Provolone cheese cubes
Turn the block of processed cheese on its side and make a series of slices. Lay the cheese slices on top of each other and make a series of lengthwise slices, (½ inch slices for smaller cubes, 1 inch slices for larger cubes). Make a series of ½ inch or 1 inch crosswise cuts through the cheese and it will fall away into cubes.
Provolone cheese strips
Cut the cheese block into thin or thick strips as per the recipe requirement.
Shredded provolone cheese
Pass the cheese through a shredder and separate the thin slices into shreds with your fingers. Packaged shredded cheese is also available.
Sliced provolone cheese
You may place the cheese in a slicer or slice the cheese in thin or thick slices with a sharp knife, as per the recipe requirement.
How to select
• Provolone cheese is commonly sold in blocks, sometimes with plastic wrappers or wax paper separating the layers.
• Provolone cheese should not be too crumbly or dry. The colour of the cheese should be relatively uniform.
• Please ensure you read the expiry date and buy accordingly.
• Watch for discoloration or mouldy spots on the surface of the cheese.
• If you prefer having sharp cheese in your grilled sandwich, try using Provolone as it melts easier than Cheddar and has a distinct taste to it, making it a top favourite on cheesesteaks and in hot sandwiches.
• Provolone can be had on its own and also on crackers.
• Additionally it is a vital ingredient in soups and sauces due to the sharp flavour it exudes.
• Provoleta is as delicious as it sounds exotic. Thick slices of Provolone are sprinkled with seasoning and grilled over an open fire either in small stones or on a foil plate. The trick is for the cheese not to stick to the grill. It is then served hot and molten with chimichurri, a hot mix of oil and spices.
• When making mashed potatoes, shepherd's pie, macaroni and cheese, casseroles, etc., replace the cheese ingredient with any cheese type of your choice.
• Provolone cheese can be added to omelettes, pizza, soufflés, au gratins, fondues, etc., adding a sharpness with every bite.
• This cheese makes a delightful pairing with fruits such as apples, pears and melons and can be served as an appetizer or for dessert. The sharp dairy notes cut through the fruity tones beautifully.
How to store
• All cheeses, regardless of variety, should be well wrapped and kept in the warmest section of the refrigerator. (The refrigerator door is often one of the warmest spots)
• As storage life is related to the moisture content of the cheese, the softer the cheese, the shorter amount of time it will keep fresh.
• Provolone is a concentrated source of the nutrients naturally found in milk, including calcium.
• Provolone cheese is an excellent source of high quality protein making it an ideal snacking option for children with partnered with breads or fruits.
• This cheese also contains a large amount of other essential nutrients such as phosphorous, zinc, riboflavin, vitamin B12 and vitamin A.
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