What does asiago cheese taste like?

In this brief guide, we will answer the query, “What does asiago cheese taste like?” and will discuss the benefits of asiago cheese.

What does asiago cheese taste like?

Asiago cheese has a sweet taste. Unlike Parmesan, Asiago cheese is made from cow’s milk and has a nuttier and creamier taste. Fresh Asiago has a moderate taste and a semi-soft texture. When it is matured for more than nine months, the flavor becomes more pronounced.

What is  Asiago cheese?

A kind of semi-soft cheese from Italy, Asiago originates from Asia. Pasta, soups, salads, risottos, and other meals calling for stronger-flavored cheeses are all excellent candidates for this hard cheese’s sharp and rich taste.

“Asiago” is the name given to this cheese by monks in the 16th century when they first started making it. For Asiago cheese, the Veneto area of Italy is the most well-known manufacturer. Fusilli di caciotta, or triangular wedges, may also be created from the cheese.

Asiago cheese is a “Protected Denomination of Origin” product of the north-eastern regions of Italy marketed in round blocks weighing around 8 kg that could be manufactured with two production methods according to the length of ripening. The so-called ‘Asiago d’Allevo’ variety is produced with skimmed raw milk and the length of maturing period varies from 3 to 18 (and even more) months. Ripening of cheese is a very complex and slow biochemical process that influences chemical parameters and organoleptic properties such as texture and color (1).

During the summer months, they are normally sold fresh before they are put in the refrigerator or brined. Asiago cheese is created using raw cow’s milk in a traditional manner. Soft cheeses take less time to make than hard cheeses, which means they may be ready in as little as 15 days.

It is possible to use Asiago cheese instead of Parmesan cheese while making bread, since it is sharper in flavor and does not sacrifice quality.

Asiago Cheese Nutritional and Health Benefits

Asiago cheese can be classified as  semi-hard or hard cheese. Cheese supplies essential nutrients for human nutrition in the form of proteins, bioactive peptides, fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals. Bioactive peptides, released from milk protein during cheese ripening, are multifunctional components with beneficial effects on cardiovascular, nervous, gastrointestinal, and immune systems. Minerals and vitamins supplied by cheese are important for healthy bones and teeth (2).

Besides, many studies have demonstrated the health benefits of adding cheese in the diet. The high concentration of essential amino acids in cheese contributes to growth and development of the human body. Despite the presence of a notable amount of saturated and trans fatty acids, there is no clear evidence relating the consumption of cheese to any disease. Conjugated linoleic acid and sphingolipids present in cheese may have anti-carcinogenic properties. The high concentration of calcium in cheese is well known to contribute to the formation and maintenance of strong bones and teeth, but also shows a positive effect on blood pressure and helps in losing weight in combination with low-energy diets (3).

Asiago cheese’s health and nutritional advantages are enhanced by its distinct characteristics. Cheese manufactured from low-sodium cow’s milk contributes less salt to the diet than regular cheese. One of the most important nutrients for bone health and cardiovascular health, calcium is found in abundance in this product.

Folic acid is abundant in this cheese, which has a low fat content. It is a fantastic source of calcium for bone health and a strong amount of protein, and Asiago cheese is no exception. As a result, Asiago cheese is good for people on a diet or who are concerned about their cholesterol levels.

Asiago cheese was found to have one of the highest variability for protein. A study analyzed many types of cheeses and showed that hard Asiago cheese had 30% moisture, 30% protein and 30% fat. The cholesterol level was 0.09 g/100 g of cheese. The semi-hard Asiago cheese contained 40% moisture, 30% fat and 25% protein. In addition, both hard and semi-hard Asiago cheese were shown to be a good source of Ca, P, K, Mg, Zn, Fe, Se and Cu (2). 

Before buying your favorite Asiago cheese, make sure to check its nutritional facts. Asiago cheese’s mild taste and acidic tang make it a versatile ingredient. If you’re looking for a cheese that can be used in a variety of meals from omelets to pasta, this is the one for you.

What Is the Flavor of Asiago Cheese?

The organoleptic quality of cheese is determined by complex changes that occur during ripening. Degree of ripening plays a crucial role in the development of the cheese characteristics, aroma and flavor due to its effect on the chemical composition. Asiago cheese ripens during 12 months and during this period, several biochemical events occur, which include three main reactions mostly: metabolism of the residual lactose, lactate and citrate, proteolysis and lipolysis. These reactions produce compounds which characterize the cheese flavor and aroma. Lactate derived from lactase could also be metabolized into formate, acetate and CO₂, responsible for cheese acidification, subsequently lactate gives cheese a distinct acidic flavor and is one of the reasons behind the sourness of some cheese types. Short-chain fatty acids derived from hydrolysis of milk fat play a significant role in flavor development. Finally, peptidases catalyze the cleavage of the polypeptides chains to produce free amino acids which undergo several biochemical reactions that result in flavor compounds (4).

For decades, cheesemakers in Italy have worked to perfect the flavor of Asiago such that it is nearly sweet. Asiago d’Allevo, a dairy area in northwest Italy, provides the milk used to make this cheese. While Parmesan has been likened to the cheese, it has an added nutty flavor due to its age and the kind of bacteria employed in its making.

Overall, the flavor is nutty and sweet, with traces of almond, fruit, and butter. If it is matured in a specific manner, it might also have a little smoky aftertaste. Because older cheeses are often sharper than younger ones, the flavor of your Asiago will always depend on how long you age it.

However, in general, they have a milder flavor than cheeses like cheddar or gouda. There was no way to keep these old cheeses fresh without saltpeter until current refrigeration technologies were established, which resulted in a salty flavor that isn’t normally wanted.

Although the cheese is hard, it spreads well over toast or crackers. As a result, it’s a great option for toppings since the taste isn’t lost when cooked slightly in sauces and soups. Make careful to provide something different to the kids if you have cheese on your party table with this amount of sweetness.

Is Asiago cheese spicy or not?

No, asiago cheese is not spicy. Whether you’re seeking to add a little zing to your next grilled cheese sandwich or just want a change of pace from cheddar and Swiss, this cheese is a great option.

Asiago Cheese uses

Many recipes call for Asiago Cheese, but it’s best recognized for its flexibility when coupled with fresh tomatoes. The most popular sort of Asiago Cheese is a hard aged cheese made from cow’s milk and may be used in a variety of cuisines.

When used in dishes like lasagna or salads, the cheese’s rich taste makes it an excellent choice. Try preparing the classic Asiago pie by mixing flour, water, salt, and eggs, and then topping it with grated Asiago Cheese if you want to have some fun playing with your culinary talents.

Goat cheese, spinach, and bacon may also be added to this recipe for a more contemporary twist. Many items, such as eggs benedict or your morning breakfast sandwich, may be topped with cheese. Spiced dishes such as chorizo or enchiladas, as well as fresh fruit, all benefit from the richness of this sauce. It’s versatile.

Other FAQs about Cheese that you may be interested in.

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What can I substitute for queso fresco?

What can I substitute for ricotta cheese?

How long can cheese stay out?

Conclusion

In this brief guide, we answered the query, “What does asiago cheese taste like?” and discussed the benefits of asiago cheese.

References

  1. Segato, S., et al. Effect of period of milk production and ripening on quality traits of Asiago cheese. It J Anim Sci, 2007, 6, 469-471.
  2. Manuelian, C. L., et al. Characterization of major and trace minerals, fatty acid composition, and cholesterol content of Protected Designation of Origin cheeses. J dairy sci, 2017, 100, 3384-3395.
  3. Walther, Barbara, et al. Cheese in nutrition and health. Dairy Sci Technol, 2008, 88, 389-405.
  4. Khattab, Amira R., et al. Cheese ripening: A review on modern technologies towards flavor enhancement, process acceleration and improved quality assessment. Trend Food Sci Technol, 2019, 88, 343-360.

Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.