Provolone is one of the great classic Italian Pasta Filatas. Pasta Filata (it. “spun paste”) is a type of cheese made by stretching and kneading cheese curds and is often called stretched-curd or pulled-curd cheese due to the manufacturing process.
Provolone has a semi-soft, elastic, and stringy texture, characteristic of Pasta Filatas, but a richer, more robust flavor than most of the other pulled-curd cheeses, which sets it apart from other classics like mozzarella or scamorza.
The texture and flavor profile of provolone may vary greatly depending on how long it’s been aged. Young provolone, aged no more than 1-2 months, is called Provolone Dolce and has a softer, smoother texture and a mild, creamy, slightly buttery flavor with distinct sweet undertones.
In contrast, Provolone Piccante is aged no less than 4 months and has a firmer, stringier (though still relatively smooth) texture, along with a sharp and saltier taste. The longer the cheese is aged, the richer and more complex the flavor profile becomes, with savory, nutty, peppery, and sometimes even mushroomy flavors becoming more and more distinctly pronounced over time.