Asiago cheese is a semi-cooked cheese made from cow's milk from farm animals bred in the provinces of Vicenza, Trento, Padova and Treviso, in the Veneto region. The farms are located at 600m above sea level. The cheese is produced in dairy farms located in the same territory.
Depending on the ageing time, Asiago is distinguished as "fresh" or "pressed" Asiago (aged for at least 20 days) and "aged" or "ripened" (aged for at least 3 months). The aged Asiago is divided into "mezzano" (aged from 4-6 months), "vecchio" (aged for 10-15 months) and "stravecchio" (aged for more than 15 months). The more Asiago is aged for, the more the taste passes from a sweet flavor typical of the "fresh" and "mezzano" cheese to a stronger and slightly spicy flavor of the "vecchio" Asiago cheese, finally reaching the maximum intensity and richness of flavors of the "stravecchio" Asiago cheese.
Elements and symbols
The elements which certify the authenticity of each piece of cheese, guaranteed by the Consortium, which supports the Asiago cheese makers are:
- the casein stamp (casein plates are applied on the cheese when still warm, and they are progressively numbered to identify the date of production and the producers of the milk that has been used),
- the cheese logo
- the serial number (identifies the dairy farm)
- the name “Consorzio tutela formaggio Asiago”(The Consortium which protects and supports Asiago cheesemakers.)
The aged cheeses also have the alphabetical letter of the month of production.