Asiago Cheese is a medium to hard Italian cheese made with cow’s milk. It received Italian PDO status (Denominazione di Origine Protetta or DOP) in 1996, establishing that Asiago Plateau (Veneto and Trentino-Alto Adige regions) is the only place where authentic Asiago cheese can be produced.
The traditional, aged Asiago cheese or Asiago d’Allevo is the one with a hard texture that gets drier and crumblier the more mature the cheese gets. Asiago Pressato, or Pressed Asiago, is a comparatively new take on cheese, with the production process only picking up in the early 20th century.
Asiago d’Allevo is usually made with a blend of whole milk and skimmed milk and aged for at least 60 days, though the aging process can last up to 18 months and sometimes more. Sweeter and creamier in the younger stages of maturing, it gets nuttier as time passes and takes on noticeably bitter and slightly spicy flavors once aged over 9 months.
Asiago Pressato is made with cow’s whole milk and is, compared to Asiago d’Allevo, very mellow. Its texture is medium rather than hard. Aged only around 20 to 40 days, Asiago Pressato is smooth and very buttery, with a predominantly sweet flavor, but has distinct sour undertones of an unaged cheese, giving the Asiago a tangy taste.