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~About Aged Asiago Cheese & Fresh Asiago Cheese~

6a0120a8551282970b01a73dc3ddb0970dOpen the deli-drawer of my refrigerator and there's a good chance you'll find a wedge or two of Asiago cheese in it -- it's one of my favorite Italian cow's milk cheese.  If you've never tried Asiago, you should, but, it's important to know there are two types, and, the one you choose will determine how you will use it.  Simply stated, one is hard, dry and gratable, the other is soft, sliceable and meltable.  Both start out the same, but, change textures during the aging process. Aged Asiago is pale-to-amber yellow, compact and very firm with a nutty aroma and strong flavor. Fresh Asiago is white-to-pale yellow with small irregular holes throughout a slightly-spongy texture with a delicate buttery aroma and sweet flavor.  Both are all to often under appreciated. 

A bit about Asiago cheese (ah-zee-AH-go) in general:  Originally, Asiago was a sheep's milk cheese produced on the Asiago plateau in the Veneto foothills of Italy -- the cheese-making tradition in the provinces of Vicenza and Trento date back more than a thousand years. Nowadays it is made from pasteurized cow's milk (occasionally unpasteurized cow's milk) and produced in many countries.  During the aging process, Asiago changes textures.  The aged (dry) version is known as Asiago d'allevo.  The fresh (soft) version is known as Asiago Pressato.

Asiago Pressato (fresh Asiago), aged for just 1-2 months, is sold as softer, mild cheese.  Asiago d'allevo (aged Asiago), a firmer, harder, grating cheese is aged for different time periods: Mezzano (4-6 months); Vecchio (10+ months), and; Stravecchio (2+ years).  Any aged Asiago is similar to Parmesan or Romano, with Parmesan being a little sharper and Romano being a lot sharper than Asiago.  You can substitute either Parmesan or Romano for Asiago in any recipe and vice versa, IF the cheese is to be sprinkled over a finished dish at the end, but, IF the cheese is to be cooked into the dish or melted on top of it, as is the case of a cheese sauce, neither Parmesan or Romano melt as evenly and creamily as their Asiago cousin does.

Try ~My Basic Asiago Cheese Sauce for Pasta/Veggies ~:

6a0120a8551282970b01a511bd4aa6970cOr, my ~ Roasted Compari Tomatoes w/Asiago & Basil ~:

6a0120a8551282970b01a511c498c5970c"We are all in this food world together." ~ Melanie Preschutti

(Recipe, Commentary and Photos courtesy of Melanie's Kitchen/Copyright 2022)


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