Asiago is a type of sheep’s milk cheese. Information about Asiago production dates back to the Middle Ages, when it was primarily produced in the high plains near Asiago, in northeastern Italy. Today, the word Asiago is often followed by “d’allevo”, indicating that the cheese was made and aged with extra special care.
Asiago is made from the milk of Swiss Brown and Pezzata Nera cows, which are raised high up into the Trentino region. The milk comes from two milkings, one in the morning and the other in the evening. After it has been gathered, the milk is heated to 95°F and coagulated with a natural starter or added enzymes. The curd in broken and then cooked twice at increasing temperatures. Finally the mass of cheese is removed from the whey and in placed in molds, or fascere, labeled "Asiago". The cheese is left to mature for a minimum of three months. The aging process can last as long as two years. The cheese is called mezzano at 6 months, vecchio at 1 year and stravecchio after two years. Due to increased demand, you can now find pressed Asiago that is only aged from two months. The younger, sliceable cheese has the strong, sweet flavor of milk. Asiago has been awarded the DOP label from the European Union.
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