Region: Eastern Europe
Family: Pasta filata
Fat content: 32%
Flavour: nutty, salty
Synonyms: kasseri, cascaval, kashkawan, Ksara
Alternative spellings: Kashkaval vitosha, Kashkaval balkan, Kashkaval preslav, Kaval
Kashkaval is a semi-hard, yellow cheese that derives its name from the Italian cheese "Caciocavallo". It is particularly popular in Eastern Europe and Mediterranean region
Kashkaval made from cow's milk is known as Kashkaval vitosha while a variation made from ewe's milk is called Kashkaval balkan. Kashkaval preslav is the name given to the cheese made from a mixture of both milks. In Romania, Bulgaria, and Macedonia it is used as a generic term for all kinds of yellow cheeses. This cheese is also found in Hungary, Croatia, and Turkey. The Romanians call this cheese cascaval, the Greeks kasseri while the Turkish prefer to interpret it as Ksara.
This semi-hard cheese is allowed to age for six months during which it develops a piquant, spicy and somewhat salty taste with a slight hint of olive oil. Due to its similarity in taste with the United Kingdom's cheddar cheese, it is famously called "cheddar cheese of the Balkans". Kashkaval belongs to the family of pasta filata cheeses that are made by giving the curd a hot bath during the production process.
The slightly hard texture of this yellow table cheese makes it suitable for grilling and grating. It can be served as a cheese platter or used in salads, appetizers, pizzas, and lasagna.