Asiago Cheese

Asiago cheese, a popular Italian cheese, has a rich history and a distinct flavor that has won the hearts of cheese lovers around the globe. Originating in the Asiago Plateau region of Northern Italy, this cheese has been produced for centuries and has a unique, nutty taste that varies depending on its age. From grated over pasta to sliced on a cheeseboard, Asiago can be enjoyed in various ways.

There are two main types of Asiago cheese to savor: Asiago Pressato (fresh) and Asiago d’Allevo (aged). While the fresh version is mild, semi-soft, and creamy, aged Asiago becomes crumbly and full of robust, complex flavors. The differences in texture and taste depend on the production process followed by the artisan cheesemakers and the length of the aging period.

The unmistakable flavor of Asiago cheese makes it a versatile ingredient in a wide range of dishes, from appetizers to main courses. Whether you’re a home cook or a culinary professional, incorporating this delectable cheese into your recipes can create memorable dining experiences for your taste buds. Now that you know a bit about Asiago, it’s time to explore its world further.

Information About the Asiago Cheese You Absolutely Must Know

Key Takeaways

  • Asiago cheese has a storied history and originates from Northern Italy.
  • Fresh and aged Asiago cheese offer distinct flavors and textures.
  • Versatile in the kitchen, Asiago cheese enhances various types of dishes.

History of Asiago Cheese

Region Origin

Asiago cheese originates from the Asiago Plateau in the Veneto region of Italy. This beautiful area is rich in tradition and provides the perfect environment for creating delicious, high-quality cheeses. Over time, Asiago cheese production has spread throughout the Veneto region and into neighboring areas, but it’s important to remember its roots in this picturesque area of Italy.

Italian Cheeses

You might be wondering how Asiago cheese compares to other well-known Italian cheeses such as Parmigiano Reggiano, Romano, and Pecorino Romano. While each cheese has its own unique flavor and texture, Asiago offers a versatile taste, ranging from mild and sweet in younger varieties (Asiago Mezzano) to a more intense and savory taste in aged cheeses (Asiago Vecchio and Asiago Stravecchio).

Protected Designation of Origin

To protect and maintain the authenticity of Asiago cheese, it has been granted a Protected Designation of Origin (DOP, or “Denominazione di Origine Protetta” in Italian) status. This means that only cheeses produced in designated areas of Italy following strict guidelines can bear the name Asiago. As a consumer, you can be confident that any cheese labeled as Asiago meets these high standards for quality and taste.

DOP CheesesFlavor Profiles
Asiago MezzanoMild, sweet
Asiago VecchioIntense, savory
Asiago StravecchioRobust, sharp

Consortium of Asiago Cheese

The Consortium of Asiago Cheese (“Consorzio Tutela Formaggio Asiago” in Italian) was established to protect and promote this beloved Italian cheese. They work to ensure that producers adhere to DOP guidelines and protect the Asiago brand name. When you choose a cheese with the Consortium’s stamp, you know you’re getting a product that comes from a long tradition of quality and commitment to excellence.

Types of Asiago Cheese

Fresh Asiago

Fresh Asiago, also known as Asiago Pressato, is a soft, white cheese with a mild and buttery flavor. It has an elastic texture that makes it perfect for slicing or melting on your favorite dishes. Since it’s made from whole milk, this cheese has a rather smooth and creamy consistency, and often comes with a thin, edible rind.

Aged Asiago

On the other hand, Aged Asiago or Asiago d’Allevo is a harder cheese with a bolder, sharper taste. As it ages, the moisture content decreases, resulting in a crumbly texture that’s excellent for grating on top of pastas and salads. Aged Asiago boasts a more in-depth flavor profile that becomes increasingly rich and complex as time goes by.

Fresh AsiagoAged Asiago
Soft and elasticHard and crumbly
WhiteLight brown
Mild and butterySharp and tangy
Perfect for slicingGreat for grating

Other Varieties

Apart from the two main types, there are various other variations of Asiago cheese with subtle differences in texture and flavor. Some may have a slightly sweeter or saltier taste, while others can have a firmer, drier consistency. It’s worth exploring these options to find the perfect Asiago to suit your preferences and culinary needs.

Comparison With Other Cheeses

  • Parmesan: Asiago and Parmesan cheese share a similar hard, crumbly texture when aged. However, Asiago has a milder flavor that may be more appealing to those who find Parmesan too strong or salty.
  • Cheddar: While Cheddar and aged Asiago have comparable sharpness, the former is much more elastic and smooth. Aged Asiago tends to be drier and more crumbly.
  • Swiss: Swiss cheese has a mild, nutty flavor that pairs well with fresh Asiago’s creaminess. The airy holes in Swiss cheese also give it a unique texture unlike Asiago.
  • Mozzarella: Like fresh Asiago, Mozzarella is soft, elastic, and mild in flavor. However, Mozzarella has more moisture, making it a better choice for stringy, ooey-gooey cheese dishes.

In conclusion, Asiago cheese offers numerous possibilities for delicious combinations and recipes. Experiment with fresh and aged Asiago to discover your favorite way to savor this Italian delight.

Production of Asiago Cheese

Milk and Rennet

To make Asiago cheese, you’ll begin with high-quality cow’s milk. The milk can either be whole milk or partially skimmed, depending on the desired result. For Asiago Pressato, you’ll use whole milk to achieve a milder, smoother paste.

Next, you’ll mix an enzyme-rich liquid called rennet into the milk. This mixture helps separate the milk solids into curds and liquid whey. The type of rennet used varies, but it’s typically derived from animal or microbial sources. The enzymes in rennet convert the milk proteins and help to form solid curds.

Process and Aging

Once the curds have formed, they’ll be placed into molds. These molds give Asiago cheese its characteristic shape. The curd-filled molds are then pressed to expel any remaining whey and create a dense paste.

Asiago d’Allevo is aged longer than Asiago Pressato and has a firmer texture. During the aging process, the cheese is stored in controlled environments to develop its distinct flavor and characteristics. Specific aging times can vary, but here’s a general guideline:

  • Asiago Pressato: Aged for 20-40 days, resulting in a soft, delicate paste
  • Asiago d’Allevo: Aged for 3-12 months, producing a harder, more crumbly texture

Throughout the aging process, unique flavors emerge as the enzymes in the cheese break down proteins and fats. By experimenting with different aging times, you can enjoy a wide range of flavors and textures in your Asiago cheese.

Asiago Cheese in Cuisine

Asiago Cheese in Pasta and Risotto

Asiago cheese is a fantastic addition to pasta and risotto dishes. Its versatility allows it to be paired with various ingredients, adding a rich, buttery flavor. When making your favorite pasta or risotto dishes, simply grate some fresh Asiago cheese and fold it into your dish. Your taste buds will thank you!

Asiago Cheese in Soups

Sprinkle Asiago cheese over your favorite soups, and discover it adds a lovely depth of flavor to your dish. Whether it’s a light broth-based soup, a hearty minestrone, or a creamy chowder, you won’t regret the addition of this flavorful cheese.

Asiago Cheese in Salads

Add Asiago cheese to your salads for a rich, nutty twist. Try slicing thin strips of cheese to layer on top or grate it to mix with your favorite vegetables, nuts, and fruits. Its distinctive taste brings a delicious layer of complexity to your classic salad recipes.

Asiago Cheese in Sandwiches and on Pizza

Enhance well-lit sandwiches and pizzas with the unique taste of Asiago cheese. Add it to your favorite crusty bread, pair it with vegetables and meats, or combine it with different cheeses like mozzarella and pecorino. This whole milk cheese melts beautifully and creates a mouth-watering texture.

Asiago Cheese in Recipes

Incorporate Asiago cheese into various recipes, from appetizers to main courses and even desserts. Don’t be afraid to experiment with this versatile cheese, as it pairs well with both savory and sweet flavors.

Asiago Cheese in Sauces

Asiago cheese can be used to create rich, creamy sauces. Melt it into a béchamel, blend it into a pesto, or mix it with buttery-soft tangy ingredients. This cheese adds depth and a unique flavor profile to your sauces, making them even more irresistible.

Paired With Other Foods

Asiago cheese’s flexibility complements a wide variety of foods. It can be enjoyed with fruits, nuts, cured meats, olives, and more. Think creatively to come up with new combinations that showcase this delicious cheese.

Asiago Cheese With Wine

Pair Asiago cheese with wine to further enhance its flavor. Choose a wine that complements the particular age and characteristics of your cheese—in general, young Asiago cheeses pair well with lighter whites, while aged Asiago cheeses pair nicely with bold, full-bodied reds. Enjoy the delightful interplay of flavors as you savor cheese and wine together.

Storage and Consumption

Slicing and Melting

When you’re ready to enjoy your Asiago cheese, it’s essential to slice or grate it properly. For a pleasant snacking experience, cut your cheese into thin, even slices using a sharp knife. This ensures you will appreciate its rich and complex flavors. When it comes to melting Asiago, grating is your best option. Doing so allows for uniform melting and a creamy, smooth texture in your dishes.

Proper Storage

To keep your Asiago cheese fresh and flavorful, proper storage is crucial. Follow the tips below for optimal storage conditions:

  • Wrap it up: Use wax paper, parchment paper, or a specialized cheese wrap to store your cheese. Avoid using plastic wrap, as it can affect the taste and doesn’t allow the cheese to breathe.
  • Containers: Store the wrapped cheese in an airtight container. Make sure it’s in a dedicated spot away from other food items with strong odors, as cheese tends to absorb these smells.
  • Temperature: The ideal storage temperature for Asiago cheese is between 35°F and 45°F, typically found in the lower sections of your refrigerator.
  • Humidity: To prevent your cheese from drying out, maintain a humidity level of around 80%. You can achieve this by placing a small container of water alongside the cheese in the same airtight container.

By following these guidelines, you can ensure your Asiago cheese stays as delicious as the day you bought it, and you can savor its delicious taste whenever you please.

Information About the Asiago Cheese You Absolutely Must Know

Asiago Cheese and Garlic Bread

Quick and tasty treat.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Total Time 22 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Italian
Servings 4
Calories 188 kcal


  • 1 loaf of French bread
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter softened
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/2 cup grated Asiago cheese
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • Preheat your oven to 375°F.
  • Slice the French bread into 1-inch thick slices.
  • In a small bowl, mix together the softened butter and minced garlic until well combined.
  • Spread the garlic butter mixture onto each slice of bread.
  • Sprinkle the grated Asiago cheese over the top of the garlic butter.
  • Place the bread slices on a baking sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
  • Sprinkle the chopped parsley over the top of the bread slices and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Serve the Asiago Cheese and Garlic Bread hot and enjoy!


Calories: 188kcal
Keyword asiago cheese, asiago cheese and garlic bread
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Frequently Asked Questions

What are common dishes with Asiago?

Asiago cheese can be enjoyed in various dishes to add a delicious flavor. You can grate it over pasta, risotto, or salads, and it can also enhance your pizza or sandwiches. Additionally, you might enjoy it as part of a cheeseboard with fruits, nuts, and cured meats.

How is Asiago made?

Asiago cheese is made from cow’s milk, traditionally in the Asiago Plateau in the Veneto and Trentino regions of Italy. The process involves heating the milk, adding rennet to coagulate it, and then allowing it to form curds. The curds are cut and cooked, and the whey is drained off. The remaining curds are pressed into molds, salted, and aged.

Which types of Asiago are there?

There are two main types of Asiago cheese: Asiago Pressato and Asiago d’Allevo. Asiago Pressato is a younger cheese, aged for around 20 to 40 days. It has a mild, creamy flavor and a softer texture. Asiago d’Allevo, on the other hand, is aged for longer periods, ranging from 3 to 15 months. As it ages, it becomes crumbly and develops a stronger, more complex flavor.

Can Asiago replace Parmesan?

Asiago cheese can be a suitable replacement for Parmesan in many recipes. Both cheeses are made from cow’s milk and have a similar texture when grated. However, Asiago has a milder flavor than Parmesan, so if you prefer a stronger taste, you might opt for Parmesan. Otherwise, feel free to use Asiago as a delicious alternative.

What’s the nutritional info?

A 1-ounce (28g) serving of Asiago cheese typically contains about 110 calories, 9 grams of fat, 7 grams of protein, and around 1 gram of carbohydrate. It also provides essential nutrients like calcium, phosphorous, and vitamins A and B2. Keep in mind that Asiago cheese is also relatively high in sodium, so moderation is key.

How to store Asiago cheese?

To ensure your Asiago cheese stays fresh and tasty, store it properly. Wrap it in wax paper or parchment paper, which allows the cheese to breathe while retaining moisture. Then place it in a plastic or reusable container with a lid to protect against strong odors from other foods. Store the container in the refrigerator’s crisper drawer, where the temperature and humidity are more stable. Remember to re-wrap the cheese after each use.

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Cassie brings decades of experience to the Kitchen Community. She is a noted chef and avid gardener. Her new book "Healthy Eating Through the Garden" will be released shortly. When not writing or speaking about food and gardens Cassie can be found puttering around farmer's markets and greenhouses looking for the next great idea.
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