From southern Italy, caciocavallo (meaning “cheese on horseback”) is said to date back to the 14th century, and believed by some to have originally been made from mare’s milk. Today’s caciocavallo comes from cow’s milk and has a mild, slightly salty flavor and firm, smooth texture when young (about 2 months). As it ages, the flavor becomes more pungent and the texture more granular, making it ideal for grating. Caciocavallo is one of the pasta filata types of cheeses (like provolone and mozzarella), which means it has been stretched and shaped by hand. It may be purchased plain or smoked and comes in string-tied gourd or spindle shapes. See also cheese.