Asiago DOP (protected designation of origin) is a cow's milk cheese, produced only on the Asiago plateau in the Veneto foothills in Italy. The cheese-making tradition in the provinces of Vicenza and Trento dates back to more than a thousand years. Traditionally, it was made from sheep's milk but today it is produced from unpasteurised cow's milk.
Texture-wise, Asiago DOP goes through many changes, assuming different textures, according to its ageing. There are two types of Asiago - fresh Asiago (Asiago Pressato) has a smooth texture while the aged Asiago (Asiago d'allevo) has a crumbly texture. Asiago d’allevo is matured for different time periods; Mezzano for 4-6 months, Vecchio for more than ten months and Stravecchio for two years. On the other hand, Asiago Pressato made with whole milk is matured for a month and sold fresh as a softer, milder cheese.
Depending on age, the rinds of Asiago can be straw coloured and elastic to brownish-grey and hard. The paste can be white to dark yellow, with small to medium irregular holes. Based on the ageing, Asiago can be used for grating, melting, slicing on a variety of salads, sandwiches, soups, pasta, and sauces.