When I was a kid growing up in Sopranoland, provolone ("brivalone" to the intiated) was almost as hard as a grating cheese and smelled really bad. (The worse it smelled, the better it tasted.) We referred to it as "feet cheese." Every so often someone would bring home one of those pear-shaped, sweet (dolce) ones. We called them "potato cheese" and left it at that. They never got eaten, although we did have fun twirling them around on the string.
Nowadays when you go to the deli or a sandwich shop, you get what's called "slicing provolone." This stuff has the consistency of Kraft slices and no taste. Is this what the world has come to?
I mean I did find some sliced up provolone from Bel Gioso which, when warmed, had a mildly provolonish flavor, but ...
Another really awful development is the melting of provolone on pizza or anywhere else. If you melted a real sharp (piccante) provolone, you'd die. It smells awful. It's three year's worth of used gym socks. I don't get it. Is it time for me to leave the Earth?
OK, here are a couple provolone links for those who are interested:
Consorzio Provolone Valpadana
in both Italian and English.