Caciocavallo can be tricky for native English speakers to pronounce correctly on their first go. However, pronounced correctly Caciocavallo is a lyrical cheese name. Just listen to the way Caciocavallo is pronounced by the native Italians who make it in this video about Caciocavallo Podolico one of Italy’s most expensive cheeses!
As with all Italian words, the trick to properly pronouncing Caciocavallo is to pronounce each and every letter paying special attention to the vowels. Check out our post about how to properly pronounce Orecchiette for help with Italian vowels.
To a native English speaker, the ‘cio’ sounds more like ‘cheo’. Here’s one of my favorite Italian teachers Mano from Italy Made Easy to explain how to pronounce /c/ in Italian words.
In Italian ‘cacio’ means cheese and ‘cavallo’ means horse. In other words, Caciocavallo most literally translates into ‘cheese on horseback.’ This is the reason the second trickiest part of pronouncing Caciocavallo correctly is nailing the double L. A super quick explanation for why it’s important to note the double L in cavallo.
Pronouncing double letters in Italian correctly is critical because it can mean the difference between saying seven (sette) and thirst (sete) or year (anno) and anus (ano.) The trick to pronouncing Italian words with double letters correctly is to treat the end of the first letter as a pause. Here’s a helpful video explaining how double letters are pronounced in Italian.
In case this is your first time stumbling across Caciocavallo, here’s a little video to help understand what Cacciocavallo cheese is plus hear Caciocavallo being pronounced properly.
Curious why it’s so expensive and if it’s worth it? Find out what makes Caciocavallo Podolico one of the 10 most expensive cheese in the world!
The afternoon Paolo and I first stumbled on Caciocavallo in Vieste, Italy we feasted on it sliced alongside bread, tomatoes, and local white wine. We had inadvertently found the most expensive Caciocavallo cheese in Italy, Caciocavallo Podolico.
Eating in Italy is an education, it’s eye-opening. Quality ingredients with little to no preparation can yield a perfect meal. As a cheese lover, I couldn’t have found a better place to move to if I tried!
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