Our friend and cheese maker Franco brought his passion for Cacio Cavallo to Toons Bridge. Franco has huge experience with the pasta filata (Stretched Curd) technique, which is used to make both Mozzarella and Cacio Cavallo.
Translated from Italian, Cacio Cavallo means "horse cheese". This is because historically, these cheeses were bound together with rope in pairs, and hung over the back of horses to mature.
Like our Mozzarella and Scamorza, Cacio Cavallo is made from raw cow's milk with the addition of whey starters. This mixture is ripened and when ready after some hours, it is stretched in boiling water and manipulated by hand. The stretching process is very dynamic, as the curd is twisted, knotted and tightened.
There are many variations of cacio cavallo, and we make four distinct types that have very different characters. Cacio cavallo can age marvellously, turning the soft, rubbbery paste hard and flinty. The flavours can be huge, as we harness all of the various raw milk bacteria to ripen the curd.
Cacio Cavallo Mesophillic is unique because no starter is added to the raw milk. This allows the natural microflora of the milk work slowly overnight in the warm dairy to produce a cheese with very distinct organoleptic qualities. Having ripened at much lower temperatures than the other cacio cavallos, this cheese is reminiscent of traditional English cheese such as Caerphilly or Chesire.