I had a Provola pizza for the first time this week in a Naples-based pizzeria in Florence. It's a smoked cheese and it melts great and taste great. Smoooth, creamy and smokey, with a little less tang that Mozzarella di Bufala. I have since found it in a local market. The cheese originates in Naples, and our friend who has the Napoletana pizzeria in Athens says that a good percentage of the pizzas made in some of the more famous VPN pizzerias in Naples (da Michelle) are made with Provola.
This is all very interesting to me.
Does anybody know where to find it in the states? Have you have a Provola pizza, either in the states or in Naples?
Lot's to know and learn.
Here is a description of Provola from an Italian cheese web site.
A fresh, stringy cheese with an uncooked paste.
The cheese is produced throughout the year from the unskimmed cow's milk of two milkings.
The cheese originated in Campania, apparently even before Mozzarella made its appearance.
The processing is similar to that used in making Mozzarella. The milk is heated and rennet is added. The curds are then cut into pieces and allowed to drain in hemp bags suspended from wooden trestles. The curds are left to "work" in the bags for a period ranging from one to three days. The "fermentation" of the cheese is completed when a piece of the paste forms a thread without breaking when it is put in boiling water. The curds are then cut in strips, which are soaked in boiling water and mixed to give the cheese elasticity. At that point, the filatura is carried out, an operation that can only be performed manually. The cheese-maker takes the pieces and stretches them, as if he were making spun sugar. The objective is to eliminate the greatest possible amount of whey. The cheeses are then plunged into cold water to cool them and allow them to firm. They are next immersed in brine for a period that varies according to the degree of saltiness desired. Finally, the cheeses that are to be smoked are tied with a raffia cord and hung up to dry for about 10 minutes in a humid, smoke-filled room that is heated to 40°-50° C. (104-122° F.).
The name of the cheese is derived from an ancient tradition, the pruvatura or pruvula. When the full chapter of religious assembled at the convent of San Lorenzo in Capua in the province of Caserta, it was the practice to offer them a taste of the cheese on a piece of bread as a proof or test of its goodness. Provola was the first Campanian cheese with a stringy paste of which we have notice. It often figured in the famous Neapolitan presepi (nativity scenes), while Mozzarella seldom appeared in them.
Bubalus Bubalis Mozzarella (real Buffulao mazarella) from northern california seels a Provoletta product (description below) on their web site.
Por Costco seels their Real Buffalo Mozarella for 2 large balls for $6.79 Great Value!
Provoletta is made by aging fresh mozzarella until the texture becomes more firm. Since it is made using the same process as our fresh mozzarella di bufala from water bufalo milk it retains the unique flavor. Slice it and serve cold or melt it on your favorite pizza. Delicious!
I took a look at the link and we will be contacting them -- looks very good. Thanks. Here a more simple URL.
Here is a photo of the Provola that we have here; it's shipped in from Naples. You can find it in Tuscany, though it isn't easy. I added it to a standard supermarket pizza this evening (yes, I know it isn't the same :rolleyes: ), but these was great. Excellent. Smokey and smooth. The kids loved it. Very stringy after the pizzas were cut.
Looks again as I expected someone here knew about Bubalis Bubalis.
So good. These guys are the real deal far from Italy.
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