Asiago PDO

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Asiago PDO Cheese
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History
In the Asiago Plateau, from which Asiago cheese takes its name, a tasty cheese has been produced ever since the year 1000. Initially sheep’s milk was used, but from the 1500s, with the gradual increase of cattle farming on the plateau, cow’s milk became the raw material used. The cheese making technique developed, and, during the early seventeenth century, production expanded into the neighbouring areas of the Asiago Plateau: the foothills, the surrounding plains and the nearby Alpine huts of Trentino. The area from which milk is obtained and in which Asiago PDO cheese is produced comprises four provinces: Vicenza, Trento and part of Padua and Treviso. Asiago cheese that is produced entirely at an altitude above 600 metres and with milk from farms within this area may also bear the distinction “Product of the Mountain”.Only Asiago cheese produced within this area is authentic Asiago DOP.

Characteristics
Fresh Asiago is a cheese with a young flavour and a taste of milk fresh from the cow, melting in the mouth to release sweet and slightly sour notes. The seasoning of the Fresh Asiago cheese must take place over at least 20 days – Fresh Asiago should be consumed soon after purchase in order to appreciate its full sweetness. It will keep in the refrigerator for around 10 days at a temperature of 8/9°. Aged Asiago is a flavourful cheese with a strong personality. It should be chewed slowly until its aromatic notes explode in the mouth.
Based on the seasoning the cheese may be described as:
• Asiago Mezzano: 4 – 6 months of maturation: a full but still sweet flavour.
• Asiago Vecchio: 10-15 months of maturation: strong flavour, lightly piquant.
• Asiago Stravecchio: more than 15 months of maturation: intense, richly savoury flavour.
Aged Asiago may be kept either in the refrigerator at 8/9° or wrapped in a cloth, in a suitable environment, at 10/15°. It can be consumed up to a month after purchase.

Recipe
Fresh egg noodles (fettuccine) with Asiago Seasoned Pdo and butter Ingredients for 2 people:

• 100 g Asiago Aged Pdo
• 200 g fresh egg noodles
• 30 g butter
• Salt to taste

Preparation:
Cook the pasta until it is “al dente” (pasta that have been cooked so as to be firm but not hard). Drain it, keeping back half a glass of the cooking water. Toss the pasta in a frying pan with the butter and the Asiago Aged Pdo cut into thin slivers. To keep the pasta soft while tossing, pour in a little of the cooking water. Serve piping hot.
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