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FROM THE CHEESEMONGER: PROVOLONE

FROM THE CHEESEMONGER: PROVOLONE

Provolone cheese is a staple or American Italian cooking – and is almost as common as a block of good ol’ tasty cheese to us Kiwis. It’s uses are easily as plentiful too, but being aged to over two years, Provolone is a far more flavoursome option than it’s Kiwi equivalent.

Italian American food is a beautiful mix that a number of born and breed Italian American chefs have really made their own. Torrisi in New York opened in 2012 and now holds a Michelin star to its name proving that they mix of American Italian doesn’t all have to be spag-bol and meatballs or the TV classic Baked Ziti, made famous by The Sopranos. A paired back menu of classics such as Involtini and gnocchi are performed elegantly and with some beautiful old meets new styling. If you are fortunate enough to have eaten there you will know they make all of their own cheeses – from ricotta through to mozzarella and provolone.

Provolone is a much loved cheese of Italy and America – it plays a role as an everyday cheese. Provolone is a cow’s milk cheese that starts life as a fresh cheese and ageing creates results in a mild and very useful for many everyday purposes – grilled cheese sandwiches and toasties, pizzas, pasta and baked dishes. When aged to over two years it is tart and wonderfully flavorsome addition to vegetable-based baked dishes and pairing particularly well with tomato dishes.

We particularly like provolone in a toasted sandwich of tuna and crushed boiled egg – a little olive tapenade mixed through is even better! Roll up with beef and baked aubergine as Involtini. Grate into the mix of a delicious calzone or top a home made beef burger patty with a few slices.