I attended an Italian cheese event last week which was promoting a classic cheese which is not that well known in the UK. As part of a consortium of cheese maker including all-time favourites Gorgonzola, Mozzarella & Parmesan, this new (to me) cheese is called Asiago.
Asiago is a traditional cow’s milk cheese produced for hundreds of years in the north east of Italy. To this day the cheese is not mass produced, this is a product made with care and attention and it was made clear the importance of human intervention during the process to ensure a product worthy of its DOP certification.
We tried 3 different ages of the cheese from fresh to 18 month old, the fresh cheese begin soft in texture with a good creamy flavour, medium aged becoming firmer and ‘nuttier’ to the fully matured which maintained its creaminess but had the crystal like umami just like you find in vintage Cheddar. A very delicious and versatile cheese indeed, as we were to find out…
All the cheeses were served with some unusual half bread half biscuit Italian accompaniments known as tigelle, look them up they’re very nice and something different to serve with your next cheese board!
We then tried some dishes which included the cheeses in different ways, from canapes using the tigelle mentioned above, to ravioli to octopus in cheese sauce, it was a great menu which showed off the flavours, textures and matchings theses classic Italian cheeses are capable of.
Asiago is available at various Italian delicatessens across the country, more exclusive grocers including Harrods and at selected Tesco stores.
It’s well worth seeking out, as everyone loves to try something new especially when it’s an artisan Italian product that is steeped in history.
Please remember to tell me in the comments below if you have tried Asiago or have found it near you after reading this article!