What is Kashkaval Cheese?
Kashkaval cheese is seen most prominently in the regions of Bulgaria. Here, they are made out of kashkaval Vitosha or cow milk, or sheep milk which is also known as kashkaval Balkan. They can also be made from the combination of both of these types of milk and this type of cheese is known as kashkaval Preslav. Kashkaval, in simple terms, can be defined as a kind of yellow cheese, which is semi-hard and is prepared from the above-mentioned ingredients. It is known throughout the regions of the Mediterranean and Eastern Europe.
Kashkaval Cheese belongs to the family of Pasta Filata. It is semi-hard in nature and has a waxed rind. It is known to have a sort of salty or nutty flavor to itself. To describe the aroma, we can say that it falls under the ‘Smokey’ category. It is also written as ‘Kashkaval Balkan’, ‘Kashkaval Vitosha’ ‘Kaval’ and ‘Kashkaval Preslav’. This cheese has a fat content of up to 32%.
It is considered to be a traditional food that is used mostly in breakfast pastries.
You can order it online from Serdika Foods: https://www.serdikabg.com/cheese/kashkaval
Other foods where you will see the usage of kathakali is in ‘kashkavalka’. Kashkavalka is basically a little pastry which consists of kashkaval inside as well as on the top. In other Eastern European countries, kashkavalka cheese is used the most, rather than the other types of cheese available. People prefer it most often even when it comes to the cheese in their pizza.
In Bulgaria, there is another snack by the name ‘princess’. A pretty unusual name for a snack, but once you have tried it, you will end up devoting yourself to this princess! To explain, it is made of grilled slices of bread and is then topped by kashkaval itself or with ground pork meat.
Kashkaval cheese comes in all types of textures, some of them are medium, whereas others are semi-hard. The semi-hard ones are similar to other types of yellow cheese like the Swiss – Emmental Cheese, Cheddar cheese of the British and Goud belonging to the Dutch.
Where is it found?
It is mainly seen in the regions of Bulgaria, however, other regions where it is found are Macedonia, Romania, Croatia, Hungary, and Turkey. As people all over the world speak different languages, there are many names for the same product. For example, the people from Turkey prefer to call kashkaval cheese as ‘ksara’, while the Greeks call it ‘kasseri’ and the Romanians prefer to call it ‘cheese cascaval’.
How is it formed?
We all have established the fact that Bulgarian kashkaval cheese hails from a type of semi-hard cheese. For its preparation or production, we have to allow the cheese to sit for about six months. During this time, it starts to develop a piquant taste which is almost spicy and salty to some extent, having the taste of olive oil in it.
It hails from the family of pasta filata cheese, which is produced by giving a hot bath to the curd during the process of production. Kashkaval cheese is very similar to cheddar cheese, so much so that it has gained another name which is the ‘cheddar cheese of Balkans’.
Pairing with Other Foods
Sure, Bulgarian kashkaval cheese may taste amazing on its own. But have you ever thought about how heavenly it would taste if you paired it with other foods on the table? You have to try it!
As far as the type of foods you can pair it with since kashkaval cheese is a yellow cheese with a hard texture, you will find that it is best suited for grating and grilling. You can serve it in the form of a cheese platter, or use it on a pizza, in lasagna and appetizers and even in salads.
Kashkaval cheese has been seen used as an extra component in a variety of dishes. It is counted among the main food products that are apt for immediate consumption. Kashkaval being a semi-hard, yellow cheese is suitable and can be used in Salads, Sandwiches, Spaghetti, Macaroni and Pizza.