Have you been thinking about what Asiago cheese tastes like? If you are a cheese lover, you might be able to easily differentiate between the different varieties of cheese.
If not, it could be challenging for you to identify specific types of cheese, especially if they have similar counterparts.
The Asiago cheese is sweet, and it has a mild flavor and a partially soft texture. The flavor becomes more pronounced the longer it is left for fermentation (more than nine months). It has a nuttier, fluffier taste in comparison to its counterparts.
Furthermore, you might be asking yourself the following concerns:
Well, continue reading, and satisfy your appetite!
What is Asiago Cheese?
Asiago cheese is an Italian cheese that originates from Asia. It usually has a white or pale-yellow appearance with small and irregular holes throughout the body.
The Asiago cheese has a medium texture (semi-soft) with a buttery aroma and sweet and sour flavor.
Two Categories of Asiago Cheese
Based on the type of milk and the age of the cheese, you will find Asiago cheese in two categories: Fresh and Aged Asiago.
Fresh Asiago (Asiago Pressato) uses whole milk. It normally takes up to 1 month only to age. Plus, it is typically softer, smoother, and has a milder flavor than aged Asiago.
Aged Asiago (Asiago d’allevo) is uses whole and skimmed milk. Then, it takes a few months up to 2 years to age. (*)
In fact, Asiago cheese ages between 3 and 8 months are known as Mezzano Asiago cheese. It has a slightly sweet, vegetal flavor.
On the other hand, the aging of Asiago Vecchio takes between 9 and 18 months. It has a hard texture and bitter taste.
Lastly, the aging of Stravecchio takes between 18 and 24 months. It has a hard, crumbly texture and spicy flavor.
How is Asiago Cheese Made?
If you are curious about Asiago cheese production, here is the general method.
- For Fresh Asiago cheese, you will need to use whole milk. For Aged Asiago, you will need to use a mixture of skim and whole milk.
- Heat both mixtures respectively to 95 °F. To form curds, you add rennet and enzymes when the temperature is reached.
- Cut and knead the curd into the desired shape, and cook at a temperature of 105°F – 115°F.
- For Fresh Asiago cheese, you flavor the cooked cheese with salt, press it, and leave it to dry for 2 days. Afterward, for two days, you would soak it in brine and then leave it to dry/age for a month.
- For aged Asiago cheese, you would place the curds in molds and flip them several times to drain off the whey. Rub salt into the cheese or soak it in the brine. You can leave it to dry/age for a few months, depending on the type of aged Asiago you desire.
- Fun Fact: The longer you allow the cheese to age, the stronger the taste you will get from it.
What Does Asiago Cheese Taste Like?
Asiago cheese is normally sweet with notes of earthy flavor. It tastes that way because of the microorganisms and the time of aging.
Additionally, you will get a pleasant and buttery taste, with hints of fruit, almond, and butter.
You may get a smoky aftertaste from the cheese depending on how it was aged. However, Asiago tends to have a lighter flavor in comparison to cheeses such as gouda or cheddar.
Fun fact: There was a time before refrigerators when Asiago had a salty tang because of the preservatives (potassium nitrate) used.
What Are the Uses of Asiago Cheese?
You can commonly see slices of Asiago cheeses on cold or hot sandwiches.
Furthermore, there are several foods that go well with Asiago cheese:
- Crackers or bread
- Casseroles or pizza (melted on top)
- Pasta dish
- Asiago Pie (combining flour, salt, water, and eggs with shredded Asiago)
You can also shred some Asiago cheese on soups, salads, and sauces.
What Are the Health Benefits You Can Get from Asiago Cheese?
Asiago cheese has a lot of health benefits due to its qualities such as how it is made. Since it comes from cow’s milk which is low in sodium, hence, provides a diet with less sodium.
Asiago cheese provides you with a significant amount of calcium.
This means good bone health (prevents osteoporosis) and reduced risk of cardiovascular disease.
Additionally, it has a small percentage of fat reducing the possibility of blocked arteries. If you are watching your cholesterol levels and looking for a good source of protein, then Asiago cheese is for you!
Furthermore, it is a good source of folic acid and protein.
Note that the nutritional value may vary depending on the manufacturer. So, it is important to check the label and do your research.
Frequently Asked Questions
FODMAP refers to a specific class of carbohydrates that some people find difficult to digest.
Apparently, small serving sizes of Asiago cheese will give you low FODMAP (approx. 40g or 1/3 cup). A large serving size (500g or 4 cups) will have a high level of FODMAP lactose.
If you are lactose intolerant, then it is best to use as little as possible.
Yes, you can freeze Asiago cheese. As long as you store them properly, they can last between 2-and 3 months.
For the best results, you can grate the cheese, place it in an airtight container and store it in the freezer.
Yes, unused Asiago cheese will eventually go bad. Your unopened Asiago cheese will last for approx. 8 months.
Once opened, you can keep aged Asiago in the fridge for 6 weeks and fresh asiago for 2 weeks.
Yes, you can use Asiago cheese to substitute for Parmesan cheese. Anything that you would use Parmesan for, you can use Asiago cheese to do.
However, Asiago can be a little sweeter than Parmesan.
Still, it serves as a good substitute for Parmesan cheese in most recipes.
Yes, you can use Asiago cheese instead of mozzarella.
To be more specific, you can use the young Asiago cheese which has a smoother consistency resembling that of Mozzarella cheese.
So, How Does Asiago Cheese Taste?
In conclusion, Asiago cheese is an Italian delicacy.
It is semi-soft and produces a strong, sharp, and nutty flavor at the same time.
The texture of this cheese can vary from creamy to crumbly/grainy depending on the fermentation method and the age of the cheese.
Now, why don’t you give Asiago cheese a try?
We guarantee that you’ll have a blast!