The best way to travel is through your stomach.
Why you Should Eat Asiago cheese in Asiago
TripAdvisor doesn’t even list eating Asiago cheese as one of the 15 best things to do in Asiago, but I argue it should be number one.
I feel that Asiago cheese deserves it’s own post – it’s THAT good.
I hope to inspire you to add EATING ASIAGO CHEESE IN ASIAGO to your Italian food bucket list, if you haven’t already.
First of all, let’s clear up a few misconceptions. Italy lover that I am, before Alberto (amore mio) took me to the town of Asiago, I had an American perception of Asiago.
I had no idea that…
- Asiago is also the name of a town.
- Asiago in Italy is NOT what we usually find in the U.S. in “Italian” cheese blends and on top of bagels.
Where is Asiago?
Asiago is in the Veneto region in the northeast corner of Italy. To get there, you’ll have to start climbing into the mountains around tornati, or hairpin turns (that are literally are in the shape of a bobby pin) until you reach the altopiano di Asiago. Read about the different ways to get to Asiago from surrounding cities here.
The GPS might even bring you to a few narrow roads that you aren’t even sure are roads…but the journey is definitely worth it. Look at this charm!
Asiago is a cow’s milk cheese (vaccino). According to my Italian cheese book, there are two types of Asiago DOP*.
*DOP = Denominazione d’Origine Protetta – Protected Designation of Origin
- Asiago d’Allevo DOP (raw milk) which can be mezzano (aged 3 months) or vecchio (aged 9+ months)
- Asiago Pressato DOP (pasteurized milk)
The difference between the two is mostly in how they are made (raw vs. pasteurized milk).
To be honest, I can’t even remember which version we tried, but maybe an Asiago cheese expert can recognize it from my photo and tell me in the comments.
Not to self: Next time try both kinds to compare.
Where to Taste Asiago Cheese
We ended up just going into a formaggeria (cheese shop) and getting a couple fette (slices) and eating them blissfully in the park.
What Asiago Cheese Tastes Like
The real reason why you need to try Asiago IN Asiago is that even the Asiago that we had in Alberto’s hometown in Veneto didn’t have the same WOW factor. Local is always better.
The taste was unlike anything I have had before. To this day, it remains one of the most pleasantly surprising and memorable things I have ever eaten.
It had a melt-in your mouth quality and herbaceous notes of foodgasm status. I don’t know how to describe it exactly, except that I said to Alberto, “I taste grass” (in the BEST way possible) thinking that I was crazy, but he totally agreed. I know grass might not be the best flavor description of one of the best cheeses I have ever eaten because it sounds totally off-putting unless you have tasted it. Trust me on this one, and I promise I’ll try to improve my taste describing skills.
At the risk of sounding super cheesy, I felt this great connection between the earth and cow in this cheese. You could taste the source. As an American, I have never felt this kind of closeness to the source of my food before. There is such a distance between the origin and the final product in our cheeses.
Other Asiago specialties
Asiago cheese was the highlight of my trip to Asiago, but some honorable mentions were enjoying a Spritz in the piazza with colorful views and enjoying a slice of strudel.
I also tried some other prodotti tipici (traditional products) from Asiago. There was an abundance of porcini (my FAVE) and wild mushrooms and mirtilli di bosco (wild blueberries) everywhere. We stumbled upon a little spaccio vendita (store) just off the main road where I got a jar of hazelnut honey (divine) to bring home .
Chat with me
- Have you tried Asiago cheese in Asiago before?
- What’s your favorite Italian cheese that you’ve tried straight from the source?