Among the tastiest and most typical dairy products of the Cilento area, mozzarella and typical aged cheeses stand out. Mozzarella is a fresh cheese, essentially produced with buffalo milk and can be found in various forms, from the smallest bites through to the medium one, perhaps still cut by hand, up to the famous “zizzona di Battipaglia”; then we remember the mozzarella DOP of Capaccio. Typical of Cilento is also the “muzzarella co ‘a murtedda”: a fresh cheese made from cow’s milk; the hand-stretched curd is stretched to give a flattened shape and then is placed and wrapped on myrtle twigs (a ‘murtedda) that flavor it.
Those who love milk products cannot miss the wonders of the Cilento area. In addition to mozzarella, we cannot fail to mention aged cheeses, with intense and inviting flavors. Among the best known of the area we find the Cacioricotta del Cilento, which takes shape from the goat milk of the Cilentana breed and has an intense and decisive taste and the Caciocavallo podolico, typical especially of the Tanagro Valley, Monte Cervati and the Alburni Mountains which is a unique cheese, because it is produced by podolic cows reared all year round in the wild and seasoned. As tradition dictates, it is only available at certain times of the year, precisely to respect the right times, just as nature still requires today.
The products of the land
There are many varieties of typical Cilento fruit and vegetables; thanks to the quality of the soil and the traditional way in which the products of the earth are treated, they have a flavor and a taste that fully represent the varied panorama of the Cilento atmospheres and landscapes. We recall particular types of legumes such as the Bean of Controne, small, white and ovoid in shape, which is quick cooking and is not floury; the town of Controne, in his honor, also dedicates a big party to him and the Chickpeas of Cicerale, small and dark, rich in mineral salts and typical of the town of Cicerale, whose name really means “land that feeds the chickpeas”. Another typical product of Cilento is Marrone di Roccaspide PGI, a particular variety of chestnut grown along the slopes of Monte Vesole.
The white figs of Cilento
The white figs DOP of Cilento – Cultivar Dottato or Ottato ecotype – are cultivated and selected in the areas of the Cilento National Park, Vallo di Diano, Alburni, from Paestum to Bussento and represent Italian excellence also abroad. Whether enjoyed freshly picked or dried, these figs have a typical amber color, a sweet taste and very consistent pulp. They represent a real delicacy for the palate; when they are dried they are placed on reed mats and exposed to the wonderful sun of Cilento. Often, they are covered with chocolate and if they are not eaten alone, they can be used for jams, sweet fillings and even for delicious gourmet dishes.