Made from unpasteurized cow's milk
Country of origin: Italy
Family: Pasta filata
Type: hard, artisan
Fat content: 45%
Flavour: savory, spicy, sweet
Aroma: pleasant, sweet
Producers: Luigi Guffanti 1876 s.r.l.
Alternative spellings: Caciocavallo Ragusano, Formaggio Ragusano DOP , Ragusano DOP
Ragusano is an Italian PDO protected cheese made exclusively in provinces of Ragusa and Siracusa, Sicily. It is one of the oldest cheeses in Sicily with evidence dating as early as 1500. Originally known by the name of Caciocavallo, it lost its historical name after it acquired the recognition of PDO. A hard cheese from the pasta filata family, Ragusano is made with whole raw milk from Modicana breed of cows fed on fresh grass or hay. When milk from other cow breeds is used, due to scarcity of Modicana breed, the cheese is called “Cosacavaddu Rausanu”.
The cheese is sold at different stages of ageing in rectangular blocks. When it is fresh within two months of production, the cheese tastes sweet, pleasant and delicate. Cheeses ripened beyond six months tend to become more flavourful and spicier with age. The rind is smooth, thin and exhibits a yellowish-golden colour that deepens as the cheese ages. Ragusano, smoked using natural processes is also available and here the designation stamp will have the word “affumicato” attached to the name of the cheese. A compact cheese with straw-coloured pate, Ragusano goes well with full-bodied red wines and aged dark beers.