Cosacavaddu Ibleo (Caciocavallo Ragusano)
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Cosacavaddu Ibleo (Caciocavallo Ragusano)


Product included in the national list of traditional agri-food products (PAT)

PAT type: Cheeses

Production area: The entire territory of the province of Ragusa and the municipalities of Noto, Palazzolo Acreide and Rosolini in the province of Syracuse.

Technical data sheet of the traditional agri-food product (PAT)

Historical equipment: Wooden vat, wooden stick "patella", tin-plated copper container of various sizes "iaruozzu", wooden container "pisaquagniu" (rennet weigher), clay container for storing "quagnialuoru" rennet, wooden container for forming "mastredda" cheeses, small wooden or tinned copper vat for spinning "sieve", wooden "crank" stick, wooden material to shape the "muolitu" cheese, "cugni" wooden tablets, wooden mold for marking "Brandsu".

Concrete tanks for brine. Direct wood-gas fire.

Maturing rooms: They are called "maizzè", fresh, humid and ventilated rooms sometimes "underground", there are also cellars and natural caves with geologically natural walls where the cheeses in pairs are hung on a "horse" of a wooden beam tied with ropes of " liama "or cords of" cannu "," zammarra "or cotton. There are also scaffolding, shelves and tools made of wood or other vegetable material for cleaning and handling the cheese during ripening and maturing.

Recurring names deriving from different stages of salting / maturing: Fresh within 2 months. Semi-cured up to 6 months. Aged for over 6 months.

Brief historical notes: Historically called Caciocavallo Ragusano, it is one of the oldest cheeses on the island and it is thought that the name derives from the drying (“a cavaddu”) of an axis, which derives from the name of the production area (Ragusa). This cheese with a sweet and peculiar flavor has been the subject since the fourteenth century of a flourishing trade beyond the borders of the Kingdom of Sicily. Already in 1515 Carmelo Trasselli in "Ferdinando the Catholic and Charles V" tells of an "exemption from duties" also for Ragusan caciocavallo and therefore already the subject of considerable trade. Again Trasselli in "Notes on Ragusei in Sicily" reports documents of the "Notary Gaetano, F.106" who still refers to the trade by ship of caciocavallo. In the work of the abbot Paolo Balsamo dating back to 1808, "the goodness of the cattle of Modica" and the "products of cheese and ricotta, fifty percent higher than the municipalities, and twenty-five percent higher than the best in Sicily" were emphasized.

And yet Filippo Garofalo in 1856 mentions the fame and delicacy of the caci and ricotta of the Ragusa area.

Type: Stretched curd cheese.

Production: The entire territory of the province of Ragusa and the municipalities of Noto, Palazzolo Acreide and Rosolini in the province of Syracuse.

Main production technology lines:

species / breed: Cow;

raw material: Whole milk, raw;

microflora: Natural;

rennet: Lamb and / or kid pasta;

prevailing power supply system: Natural pastures of the Hyblaean plateau, rich in spontaneous essences, and also pastures cultivated with the integration of fodder in the stable and concentrated in variable quantities with respect to the forage season;

processing techniques: The “Cosacavaddu Rausanu” is produced with traditional techniques. The milk from one or two milkings coagulates in a wooden vat at 34 ° C with lamb and / or kid rennet paste.

The curd is broken with the "patella" and is drained into baskets placed on a wooden board, "mastredda", after about two hours it is cooked with the sheet at 80 ° C for about 105 '. After this time, the curd is extracted by hand and placed in the mastredda to mature until the next day.

Before spinning, the curd is cut into slices and placed in the "sieve" and with the help of a wooden "crank" stick and the addition of hot water, it is worked with the hands. The ball of dough, tightly closed by the hands expert of the cheesemaker, it is placed in the wooden "mastredda" where it will acquire the historical parallelepiped shape. The next day it is immersed in brine;

salting: In saturated brine for about 24 hours for a variable period according to the weight of the wheel; Product features: Parallelepiped shape with rounded corners. The smooth, thin and compact rind of a golden or straw yellow color that becomes darker as it ages; it is capped with olive oil. The paste is straw yellow in color, compact. The flavor is decidedly pleasant, sweet, delicate and not very spicy in the first months of aging; tending to spicy as the seasoning progresses. Variable weight from 10 to 16 Kg.

Historical references:

Antoninus Bird: “Bovari, Pecorari, Curatoli”. Dairy culture in Sicily, Stass Palermo, 1980.

Carmelo Trasselli: "Ferdinand the Catholic and Charles V" - The Sicilian experience vol. 1, 1475-1525.

Philip Garofalo: “Discourses over ancient and modern Ragusa”, (Palermo-Francesco Lao's printing plant), 1856.

Carmelo Trasselli: "Notes on Ragusa in Sicily" 1530, extracted from "Economia e storia, Italian magazine of economic history", 1965.

ARAS “The typical cheeses of Sicily” Palermo, 1986.

Vizzardi-Maffeis "Italian cheeses", Agricultural editions, Bologna, 1990.

National Institute of Rural Sociology: "Atlas of typical products: cheeses", Franco Angeli, Milan, 1990.

CNR: “The dairy products of the South”, 1992.

Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry: "Italian DOC cheeses" published by UNALAT in collaboration with INSOR, Franco Angeli, Milan, 1992.

Licitra Giuseppe “A strategy for managing forages and dairy cows to produce Ragusano cheese in Sicily”.

PhD Thesis. Cornell University, 1995.

Monograph of the Hyblean Project “Cognitive survey on the cheese processing technology of Ragusano cheese” Ragusa, 1997.

Source Pat Cards: Sicily Region 

Card insertion: Ignazio Caloggero

Information contributions: Web, Region of Sicily

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