Formaggio Fritto – Caciocavallo all’Argentiera
My uncle, Ferdinando, lived all his life in my paternal house. My
siblings and I loved him more like a father than an uncle, and he treated us as if we were his own
In Palermo, we usually had supper at 8 PM, and when it was
merenda time—the afternoon snack at about 4 PM—Uncle Ferdinando would ask me and my siblings
if we would like to taste the snack he was going to prepare. He would not tell us what he was going to make,
and our usual answer was that nobody wanted it!
Zio Ferdinando knew how to prepare only a few dishes, but what he cooked
was very tasty and appetizing.
One of his specialties was cacio all’argintera.
This simple dish has
exceptional taste and incomparable fragrance. The smell of the cheese,
garlic, vinegar and oregano would attract us into the kitchen, and without fail, he would invite the gang to sit
with him at the kitchen table and share this appetizing dish accompanied with sourdough panini, which are a Palermo
¼ cup olive oil
4 large cloves of garlic,
4 slices of Caciocavallo, about ¾ lb (Can be
substituted with Mexican frying cheese)
½ teaspoon oregano
Pinch of pepper
½ tablespoon sugar
In a nonstick skillet, heat the oil on medium heat; add the garlic and slices of cheese and
lower the heat.
Cook covered for 1 minute, turn the cheese over and cook covered for an additional minute or
until golden in color.
Remove skillet from fire, add the oregano and pepper and transfer the fried
cheese to the serving dish.
Add the vinegar and sugar into the hot oil, cook for about 1–2 minutes until
some of the liquid evaporates.
Cover the cheese with this sweet-sour sauce, use the garlic as garnish and
serve immediately with fresh Italian bread.