The origin of dairy production in the Asiago plateau dates back to 1200 BC, making this region one of the oldest dairy production areas in the world. Both fresh Asiago DOP cheese and Aged Asiago are produced in an area that goes from the irrigated meadows of the Po Valley to the mountain pastures of the Asiago plateau and Trentino.
The area for the collection of milk and the production of Asiago DOP cheese comprises four provinces: Vicenza, Trento and a part of Padua and Treviso. This is the area where Asiago cheese was originally born in the Asiago plateau, and its surrounding territories. Asiago cheese which is produced with milk from farms located 600 meters above sea level, can boast the additional certification of being a “Mountain product”. Only Asiago cheese produced and processed in this area is authentic Asiago DOP cheese.
There are different versions of Asiago DOP cheese:
The fresh variety is made with whole milk and has a sweet and delicate flavour. Aged Asiago DOP cheese is made with partially skimmed milk and has a stronger flavour. The aged variety of Asiago has 3 different types: Asiago Mezzano (matured for 4 to 6 months), Asiago Vecchio (matured from 10 to 15 months) and Asiago Stravecchio (matured for over 15 months).
Each form of Asiago DOP is unique and distinctive. Within the typology, it is possible today to find varieties ranging from Fresh Asiago, to Seasoned Asiago, from organic Asiago to Mountain Product Asiago. The support for the protection of the mountain territory and its heritage is among the primary objectives of the Consortium for the Protection of Asiago Cheese.
Asiago: Between the Mountains and the Plateau
The mountain cheese making season lasts from June to September in the Asiago plateau which is the largest mountain area in Europe. This offers the opportunity to experience days to discover the secrets of cheese making and local gastronomy meeting cheesemakers and Malghesi who produce the “Mountain Product” Asiago DOP , the dairy specialty made above 600 meters above sea level which was recognized by the EU since 2006.
Today there are 15 mountain huts in the Asiago plateau and in the mountainous areas of the Province of Trento, produce Asiago DOP Mountain Product according to very strict specifications.