Description

Asiago derives its name from a small town in northern Italy. In Italy, Asiago usually means Asiago Fresco (fresh), which has a mild flavor and semi-hard texture. In Wisconsin, cheesemakers age Asiago to develop sharper flavors, similar to a blend of aged Cheddar and Parmesan flavors. This aging also changes the texture of the cheese from elastic and firm to hard and granular.

Appearance

Pale yellow

Texture

Fresh: elastic, firm Medium: firm Aged: hard, granular

Flavor

Fresh: Clean, mild Medium: More intense Aged: Buttery, nutty; similar to Parmesan

Serving Suggestions

Grate Asiago over lavosh, focaccia and other flat bread dough and bake as usual. Grate over salads, soups, vegetables, pasta and pizza. Try topping seafood with grated Asiago, then broil. Aged Asiago makes a wonderful dessert cheese when served as is with walnuts and dried apricots.

Goes Well With

Pasta, figs, grapes, apples, pears, dried fruits, balsamic vinegar Late Harvest Gewurztraminer; red wines such as Cabernet Franc, Pinot Noir and Beaujolais

Styles/Varieties

Wisconsin Asiago comes in 16- to 22-pound wheels, half wheels, random- and exact-weight pieces, or shredded and grated.

Performance Note

For easier cutting, bring hard cheeses to room temperature. Score the wax and rind with a paring knife before cutting. Use a hand wire or double-handled cheese knife to cut bulk Asiago into wedges. Traditionally, the color of the wax on Asiago indicates flavor: clear or white suggests mild; brown suggests medium; and black suggests aged.

  Cold Surface Broil Oven (in recipe) Oven (surface) Direct Heat (in suspension)
Sliced
Cubed
Shaved
Shredded
Grated
Crumbled
Spooned/Spread