Asiago cheese is originally an Italian cheese from the Asiago Plateau. It was made from milk of the sheep that roamed this special valley until the 19th century when cow milk was introduced. In Italy the name Asiago is a protected name that only cheese coming from this specific area can use the name. The Asiago family of cheeses is considered an Alpine style cheese. In other countries Asiago is a general term used to describe many types of cheese.
At La Verde Oveja, our Asiago is a version closest to the original Asiago Pressato Italian cheese. We use 100% fresh sheep milk in this recipe with special cultures and a technique that includes time and patience allowing for a finished product with a firm, smooth, buttery flavor.
Our Asiago cheese slices well for sandwiches, melted on burger, or topping on salads. Asiago Pressato is aged for a minimum of 2 months and can continue to be aged for up to 2 years. The nature and characteristics of the cheese change over this period of time.
- Asiago Pressato (young Asiago): 2 to 3 months of aging. At this stage of aging, the rind is thin and elastic and the paste inside is soft, buttery, white or slightly yellowish. Serve as a melting cheese or sliced.
- Asiago Mezzano (middle Asiago): 3 to 8 months of aging. At this stage of aging, the rind is semi-firm with a compact paste with a straw-color and a sweetish taste.
- Asiago Vecchio (old Asiago): 9 to 18 months of aging. At this stage of again, the rind is hard with a hard paste and a straw-color and bitter taste. Best served on crackers or as a standalone cheese.
- Asiago Stravecchio (very old Asiago): more than 18 months of aging. At this stage of aging, our cheese has the texture of a very hard and grainy paste with an amber-color and a spicy taste. This is the best stage for grating.
Storage of our Asiago cheeses depends on your intended purpose for the cheese
- If you want to eat your Asiago as a Pressato, you need to consume it during the first month of purchase, keeping it in the original packaging and re-wrapping it well after opening. Make sure to store it in the cheese or vegetable drawer of your refrigerator.
- If you prefer to continue to age your Asiago cheese and to allow it to ripen, then you should wrap the cheese in a cheese cloth or parchment paper and store it in the warmest section of your refrigerator (usually a bottom drawer) with only moderate humidity. Cheese kept in this manner will continue to age at a natural rate and will not go bad.
For more information on cheese storage information, check out our article “How do I store my Sheep Cheeses?”