Smoked Provolone Valpadana P.D.O.: a perfect combination of aroma and taste
The smoked Provolone Valpadana is one of the best loved smoked cheeses due to its unique combination of aroma and taste, ideal for giving that extra touch of flavour to many recipes: delicious appetisers, tasty first courses and scrumptious second courses, in addition to pizzas!
After the smoking process, the cheese takes on the characteristic brown-coloured, thin and smooth rind.
Both the strong Provolone Valpadana and the mild type can be smoked.
Shapes and weight
Provolone Valpadana P.D.O. is available in many different shapes and sizes.
For the smoking process, the smallest shapes are typically chosen, with a weight of approximately one kilogram, such as the “Fiaschetta” or the “Provoletta”.
Among the shapes having the right weight, for this smoked cheese, the smallest ones are usually in the Smoked Mild Provolone Valpadana version, whilst the slightly larger ones are those in the Smoked Strong Provolone Valpadana version.
This is due to the aging process, which takes longer for the strong version.
The Smoked Provolone Valpadana P.D.O., being a quality cheese, gives its best when eaten raw, perhaps with a tasty home-made bread. It is also excellent as an ingredient for cooking or simply by itself, seared on the griddle.
Here is a quick and delicious recipe with this excellent smoked cheese: cut the Provolone Valpadana in one-centimetre high slices and put them in the freezer for about ten minutes, slightly oil a non-stick frying pan or a griddle. When the frying pan or the griddle is well heated, sear the slices of cheese for about a minute, a minute and a half on each side. Serve piping hot with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil!
The smoked Provolone Valpadana is the perfect pairing for slightly aromatic white wines such as Gewurztraminer or Riesling.
The smoking process
The shapes of Provolone Valpadana having the right size and weight therefore undergo a smoking process, in other words a flavouring of the food by means of the so-called “liquid smoke”.
Liquid smoke is an extract of the aromatic component of smoke generated in a natural manner and that can be added by spraying, sprinkling, dipping or injection to the foo to give it a characteristic flavour.
Smoking can be carried out cold, semi-hot and hot, depending on the specific technique used, the temperature of the smoke used and the length of the process.
Hence, this smoked cheese will feature on the outside the characteristic yellow-brown colour due to the formation of a thin film on the surface as the result of a polymerisation and incorporation process of the smoke particles.