Gravina Pallone

Pallone di Gravina is a semi-hard raw stretched cheese, produced with whole raw bovine milk from farms in the Murgia Alta and Fossa Bradanica basin. It is essentially a caciocavallo without a head and with a rounded shape which is produced from January to March and is excellent after three months of maturation. Its weight ranges from 1 to 10kg.

Originating from the Gravina area, from which it takes its name, it is currently produced in the Gravina in Puglia, Matera and Murgia Alta areas.

Gravina Pallone
Gravina Pallone

Cheese preparation

The milk with which this particular Murgia cheese is prepared comes from Podolica breed cattle. Its history is quite ancient, being already known at the time of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies, considered as one of the most popular cheeses in southern Italy.
The production technique of Pallone is similar to that of caciocavallo.

  • Liquid calf rennet or lamb or kid paste is added to the milk.
  • Once the curd is formed, cut into slices, it is stretched with hot water, then collected and left to stand on the “tompagno”.
  • It is in this phase that the cheese is given its characteristic spherical shape.
  • The next phase involves salting in brine, after which the balls are left to dry for a couple of weeks and then left to dry in the cellar.

The rind of the ball will be hard, smooth, robust, straw-coloured which tends towards brown or grey-brown in the more mature forms; the paste is stretched, raw, smooth, straw-coloured which tends towards golden with maturation, with possible slight holes.

How to consume Gravina Pallone

It can be consumed fresh after about 3 weeks, but is especially appreciated if aged for at least 3 or 4 months. In this way the maturing will allow it to acquire a pleasant note of spiciness.

Today, Pallone of Gravina is one of the traditional regional products. It is generally eaten in starters or in the middle of a sandwich together with mortadella. Sometimes it can be also melted on some dishes to give them more flavour.

Today this dairy product has also become a Slow Food presidium, to protect its uniqueness and safeguard its quality.

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