The origin of the name of this fantastic cheese is probably linked to the fact that the sorrentini cheese producers that disembarked in the early morning at the port of Naples, to protect themselves from the cold and the humidity, used to cover themselves with a cloak made from a sack cloth similar to the one worn by monks.
The milk used to make this cheese, is that of the cow and the amount of cow agerolese (from Agerola) is not inferior to 20%. This breed created in Agerola in the middle of the 19° century is fruit of a series of attempts from the borboni to improve the cattle breed of defective origin. On the Lattari mounts , because of the isolation of these places, these genetic features fixed better giving origin to the breed of the cow agerolese, characterized by an haughty quality of the milk used for both Provolone of the Monaco and for “Fior di Latte”.
The process of production of Provolone of the Monaco starts from the processing of raw milk of a single milking or maximum of the two next ones.
From coagulated raw milk we obtained the curd that is reduced in small grains using a wooden tool called “Sassa”, and then there’s the burning and the spinning phases. The spinning consists in coiling the curd until the paste achieves the wished consistency in order to then proceed to the shape attributing, therefore, to the cheese the typical shape of pear or cylinder. Follows the brining, the drying and the seasoning that happens in wine cellar for a period from 4 to 18 months.
The characteristic of the pastures of the Lattari Mounts, place of election for the production of this cheese, and the seasoning environment, characterize the aroma of the provolone of the Monaco that is exalted from the length of the period of seasoning. The external aspect of the cheese is characterized from the hazelnut colour and/or reddish crust. The consistency to the tact introduces a semi hard paste from the typical milk and hay odour.