I discovered provolone at The Italian the other night when I was there with my parents & hubby. No doubt I’d eaten it before but that night was when I really noticed and took the time to do some research.
Provolone is a semi-hard full-fat cows milk cheese from the mozzarella family. I learnt today that what I had on the Sicilian platter at The Italian was a provolone dolce which is the milder of the two kinds. Last time I was at La Macelleria I hunted down a chunk of what I thought was the same, not realising that there is a second kind – provolone piccante which is what I’m eating as I write this. The piccante variety is as the name says – a bit sharper and slightly reminiscent of parmesan.
For me the slightly spongey, more giving texture of provolone plus the subtle taste (that is compared to hard cheeses such as parmesan or cheddar) make it the perfect non-soft accompaniment to a cheese platter.
Tonight I’m eating my provolone piccante with a sweet Tertini Pinot Gris – primarily because it’s the only white wine I have in the fridge. I think they taste quite lovely together but Google tells me I have it all wrong and that I should be drinking a riesling or beaujolais.
Whatever – this pinot gris isn’t so far removed from a riesling. I’m happy.