Adopt a cow and enjoy caciocavallo, a prized Pugliese cheese!
The podolica cow came to Italy centuries ago, and ever since, Pugliese farmers have transformed this now-rare breed's milk into a flavorful, high-quality cheese. Especially Puglia's Adopt a Cow program allows you to become part of this proud tradition and support local farmers who keep sustainable, small-batch cheesemaking alive.
HOW IT WORKS
Choose a pasture and herd.
Adopt a cow.
Enjoy your Caciocavallo cheese!
Our program brings small-batch caciocavallo cheese of superior craft and quality directly to your table. Caciocavallo podolico is a semi-hard, pasta filata (pulled-curd) cheese made of cow's milk from the podolica cow. Herds of this rare cow graze freely in Puglia's lush grassy pastures. The name caciocavallo, "cheese on horseback," comes from the cheese's shape and how it is aged. It is formed by hand into gourd-shaped rounds, which are bound in pairs by a rope and hung over a wooden pole to age.
To begin the aging process, the cheese is produced in a room with fire fueled by wood from olive trees over the course of the day. Afterwards, the cheese is left in cellars where humidity helps to mature this delicious cheese. Aged for several years, this cheese develops an intense, sharp flavor that has placed it in the ranks of the world's most desirable gourmet cheeses.
What you receive when you adopt a cow
Your selected amount of aged Caciocavallo cheese from your pasture
Adoption certificate that states the number of months your cheese has aged
Information about the herd and the pasture
All packed in cotton cloth drawstring bag
Choose a Pasture
La Montagnola Farm
About the Herd
The “La Montagnola” farm lies among the hills of Monte Sant’Angelo, in the Gargano National Park. This lush and protected farmland includes also the wood of Foresta Umbra and the Tremiti Islands.
This herd has been raised by the Bisceglia family for generations. In 2012, the Bisceglia family won the “Cheese of the Year”!.
This caciocavallo cheese is characterized by the aromas, flavors of herbs, and spices of the mountains of Gargano, above the Foresta Umbra. It is straw-colored to bright yellow depending on the maturation period. It can be enjoyed on its own or on bread with strong flavors like the famous bread of Monte Sant’Angelo.
About the Herd
Masseria Paglicci lies among the hills of the Rignano Garganico countryside, in Italy’s National Park of Gargano. This land is famous for its historic caves – including the Paglicci cave. Sometime in the 16th century, monks of Neapolitan Certosa of St. Martin began making cheese from the free-roaming Podolica cows.
The pasture is run by Giuseppe Bramante, a dedicated and loving farmer of both olives and cows. The Bramante family estate has well over 500 olive trees, and 80 Podolica cows — the same trees and cows that were harvested hundreds of years ago.
Made with raw milk, this caciocavallo cheese is characterized by aromas and flavors of the herbs of the wood the leaves of the olive trees of Bosco Quarto.
About the Herd
The Colantuono family practices the tradition of transhumance farming—herding livestock from the hills in the winter to the mountains in summer. During the transhumance, their Podolica herd is fed with more than ten different types of natural herbs.
The tradition of making caciocavallo cheese has been passed down by Colantuono’s family for over five generations. From the plains of Puglia to the mountains of Molise.
The transhumance allows produces a cocktail of flavors, aromas—from Puglia to Molise—to be preserved in the cheese. The diverse herbs and flowers that the Podolica cows graze on contributes to the cheese’s golden color with amber reflections, thanks to rich beta-carotene feeding.
About the Herd
Fattoria Fiorentino lies between the hills of the Appennino Dauno and the promontory of Gargano, in the town of Torremaggiore. This land, called Castel Fiorentino, is famous for its historic castles by Frederick II. Here the Podolica cows spend their days eating the wild herbs including wild fennel, oregano, and mint.
Michele Schiavone is a fifth generation cheese producer. The Schiavone family has been making delicious caciocavallo podolico since 1909 on their pasture. Michele enjoys hosting children and adults from all over Puglia to show them the ancient tradition of producing caciocavallo cheese.
This caciocavallo cheese is characterized by the flavors and herbs of the pasture and by all the aromas given by the aging in natural cellars next to the Appennino Dauno.
SEE WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING...
“I've given my mother our olive oil subscription—it reminds her of the happy times she's spent in Italy,
and gives her the tools for great dressings all year long.”
— Amanda Hesser, Food52
“Especially Puglia olive oil has been such a treat to have in my kitchen!
AND they host an amazing experience in Puglia ”
— Alice Waters, Chez Panisse
“'Local' will always be an overarching goal, but Especially Puglia is localizing "international" impressively! Bravo!"
— Bob Lewis, Fulton Stall Market, NYC