Saturday, July 7, 2012

Big Cheeses: Sartori Extra-Aged Asiago

I was skimming through my posts to see how long it has been since I did a "Big Cheeses" segment, where I pick a cheese and review it. When I skimmed the list, I realized that the last time I did such a review was in December of last year... making it seven months! With that being said, combined with the fact that I'm working in a supermarket (but as a cashier, not in the deli or the nonexistent cheese section), endorsing a cheese has been long overdue. This is only the second time I recommended a specific company and type, as I have generally recommended cheeses as individuals, but this was too good to pass up. This cheese is Sartori Extra-Aged Asiago. I have always been one for harder cheeses and I will attest to the fact that cheese ages well if kept in proper condition. With this cheese, it brings significance to my case.

Sartori is a Wisconsin based cheesemaking company created by Paolo Sartori, an Italian immigrant who came in America in 1939 in order to contribute to his piece of the American dream. In America, he invented and patented machines such as the cheese curd machine and the curd mixing and kneading machine. Joe Sartori, also a part of the family, would go on to create Sargento, another cheese company in which he would eventually sell his interest. As for Sartori, they have created plenty of specialty Italian cheeses, whether they be classic versions or gourmet versions. One of these is the Extra-Aged Asiago, which won first place in the World Championship Cheese Contest this year.

This version of Asiago is at least a year in age, making it a more aged version of the variety. Asiago is an Italian cheese named for the Italian town of which it originated. This town happens to be in the Alpine regions of Italy and is made with cow's milk. Plenty of companies have had their take with them and plenty of people have found ways to incorporate this cheese into their recipes. One of which was grating the cheese on top of a bagel. My favorite way to eat Asiago, especially from this company, is just the way it is.

The wedge that you receive is a fairly healthy size, especially for the price of the cheese. While it's from America and not imported from Italy, it is in very good quality. This is exactly the reason that their version of Parmigiano Reggiano is called Parmesan (the former term could only be used if it was made in select sections of Italy).

As for the taste, it's absolutely delicious. Asiago in general has the texture of Cheddar and the flavor of Parmigiano-Reggiano. I could agree with that statement, though this version is a bit harder in texture (which is obvious due to age) and tastes just how I mentioned. I will attest with the Parmigiano-Reggiano flavor, but I also think about Pecorino Romano when I eat this cheese, only Pecorino Romano is a sheep cheese that has a much stronger flavor. The savory, but reserved flavor of Asiago melts in your mouth.

Whether you want to eat it plain or with a partner, this is a cheese you should definitely check out. Sartori does have their own site, which could be accessed immediately when you type "Sartori Cheese" into your Google bar (or what ever site you use). This Asiago will definitely be something I buy and buy again and I'll put my wagers on others doing the same.

1 comment:

  1. The bakery at the place I work makes bagels with asiago cheese in them. Soooooo good. Must eat one EVERY morning or I have panic attacks.