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 more than a thousand years. Traditionally, it was made from sheep's milk, but today it is produced from unpasteurised cow's milk.
The texture of Asiago DOP differs according to its ageing period. There are two types of Asiago - fresh Asiago (Asiago Pressato) has a smooth texture, while aged Asiago (Asiago d'allevo) has a crumbly texture. Asiago d'allevo is matured for different 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 rind of Asiago cheese 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. Asiago can be used for grating, melting, and slicing on salads, sandwiches, soups, pasta, and sauces.