When it comes to making mouthwatering pizza recipes, cheese is an important ingredient.
A group of cheese varieties known as pasta filata or stretched cheeses are often selected by pizza makers for their unique qualities.
Mozzarella is a popular type of pasta filata cheese as well as a cheese commonly used cheese for pizza.
Scamorza and caciocavallo also belong to this group of cheese. They are stretched curd cheese produced similarly to mozzarella
Apart from being produced similarly, Caciocavallo and scamorza both molded into a similar shape, which could make you question if both cheese are the same product.
In this post, we take a look into these two cheese varieties and highlight the differences between them
Difference between caciocavallo and scamorza
While both varieties are gourd shaped Italian cheese varieties with stretched curds, they are actually different .
Caciocavallo is typically aged for two or more months while scamorza is aged for about two weeks, thus caciocavallo often has a firmer texture and a more intense flavor than scamorza
What is Caciocavallo?
An Italian cheese made from sheep’s milk or cow’s milk.
The name Caciocavallo is gotten from two words; cacio, which means cheese, and cavallo, as the cheese is bound in pairs using a rope and straddled over a horizontal stick like on horseback
Caciocavallo cheese has a characteristic pear or a gourd shape.
It has a smooth texture, mild taste and slightly salty bite with an edible rind
The origin of this cheese dates as far back as the 14th century.
Caciocavallo can be produced with either raw or pasteurized milk.
After the milk is heated, and the curds are formed, the curds are stretched similar to when making mozzarella cheese
After stretching the curds, they are molded. Caciocavallo cheese is also cured in brine. and the top portion is tied with a string the cheese is and hung in pairs over a horizontal stick to dry.
Caciocavallo can be eaten fresh as table cheese, but it is usually aged for two or more months
The rind is formed is edible and it acquires a pungent flavor and harder texture as it ages
As the cheese ages it changes from a milky white to a darker yellow in color.
It also becomes saltier as it changes It has sharp spicy flavors as Caciocavallo Ages
The cheese acquires a more pungent flavor as well as a granular texture as it ripens
Caciocavallo cheese is a very popular cheese in Italy and There are many varieties of this cheese; caciocavallo Podolico and Caciocavallo Silano are some popular varieties of this type of cheese
The older ones are suitable for grating
What is Scamorza cheese?
Scamorza is a cheese from the Southern regions of Italy
This cheese is produced mainly in Apulia and Calabria; however, it is popular in the whole of Italy.
Traditionally made from pasteurized cow’s milk, it can also be made from other types of milk such as sheep milk. It can also be made with a mixture of cow and sheep’s milk.
It is also a stretched-curd cheese just like mozzarella cheese
The cheese is initially formed into a round shape, but it is tied with a string about a third of the distance and hung to ripen.
Ripening takes about two weeks and the string used gives the cheese a pear shape.
Scamorza is a white cheese. It can also be smoked over burning straw after ripening which gives it a slightly darker color.
The smoked variety of this cheese is known as Scamorza affumicata and it is also slightly sweet while the unsmoked variety is known as scamorza bianca
It also belongs to the pasta filata family.
Semi-soft cheese texture is elastic, stringy, and its Flavor is milky, creamy, smoky flavors
This variety of cheese is also slightly firm with a chewy texture as well. Also has spicy and caramel notes
Pasta filata cheese
These are a group of cheeses characterized by a unique step in the cheesemaking process where the curds are stretched.
They are also known as stretched curd cheese and include cheese like mozzarella, provolone and scamorza
The formed curds are first cut and immersed in hot water where they are heated to a point where they can be stretched.
Once they’ve been stretched sufficiently, they are molded into different shapes
The stretching brings about several characteristics in the cheese being made including elasticity and they melt beautifully that make them suitable to be used as pizza cheese and baked dishes like lasagna.