The Provolone Valpadana PDO is deeply intertwined with the typical characteristics of the territory where it was produced, such as its geography, agriculture and the history of the men who have lived there.
The reclamation and channeling of spring and surface water in the area between the Lambro and Adda Rivers was the result of the huge work of local Cistercian monks. This allowed the development of a cereal-livestock production, focused on the breeding of dairy and cheese-making cattle. This latter activity soon spread beyond its core in the lower Milanese, reaching the entire Po Valley and becoming the valley’s main economic resource.
Provolone first appeared around the second half of the 19th century, as the result of the happy marriage between the “pasta filata” (spun paste) cheese tradition, born in the South of Italy, and the local dairy culture typical of the Po Valley. In 1861, the unification of Italy made travelling in the peninsula easier and many entrepreneurs from the South, started moving their production activities to Piacenza, Cremona and Brescia. In this way, the consumption of “pasta filata” cheeses encompassed the whole country. Thanks to the great availability of milk and the vanguard infrastructure, crucial to get high quality products, the Po Valley laid the basis for the evolution of Provolone, which is now available in different formats (from a few hundred grams to more than a ton).
The term “Provolone” first appeared in 1871, as an entry in “Vocabolario di agricoltura di Canevazzi-Mancini” (Cappelli, 1871), defined as a large provola. This feature, together with its ability to ripen for long periods without drying out excessively, allowed this original cheese to stand out from the large variety of “pasta filata” cheeses produced in Southern Italy.
The “Valpadana” DPO was first coupled with the term “Provolone” in 1993 (DPCM 04/09/1993), thus recognizing the centuries-old tradition of the territory in which Provolone was born.
Thanks to Consorzio Tutela Provolone Valpadana