Saputo Asiago Cheese, Aged 2 Months
Moisture 40% Milk Fat 30%
In Northern Italy, the adorable township of Asiago is know for a few things. Some travel there for skiing in the winter, some for the astronomical observatory. But nothing the township is known for can compare in deliciousness to its principle export, asiago cheese.
I like to imagine wide-eyed, determined astrophysicists locked up in the local Asiago Astrophysical Observatory late at night, looking at stars billions of light years away while snacking on a block of crumbly asiago cheese, and getting the cheese all over their keyboards and control boards because it breaks apart everywhere. Or perhaps in winter, people bring a block of the Italian cheese with them while skiing, and it crumbles everywhere in the snow, leaving a trail of asiago behind them.
But here I am, in Canada, snacking on 2-month aged asiago. It's strong, like a mature, older brother to parmesan. Fuck parmesan, go asiago. I spent $10 on this wedge from a Metro grocery store, and I'm enjoying every bite like they cost 50 cents a piece.
The company name on the label is Saputo, which sounds Japanese and would be rendered as サプト in katakana and would probably be run by a man named Saito-san who is a bit too controlling of his children and enjoys fugu meals to celebrate a good quarterly financial report. However, Saputo is a Montreal-based cheese company that was established in 1954 by an Itallian immigrant named Giuseppe Saputo, which makes sense because Japanese and Italian have similar vowel sounds. The label on this fine hunk of cheese says it was imported from the United States, so unfortunately I don't think I'm eating the genuine Italian original. But asiago is asiago, at least until I can find some legit Italian asiago. Maybe I can make the excuse that I want to go skiing in Italy, but with the ulterior motive of aquiring some Italian asiago and hanging out with my Italian astronomical friends.
The taste of asiago will probably make you burst for joy and want to start learning Italian ASAP. Cheese is probably so popular because it's a magical food, and sometimes works like a magical spell would. So blue cheese makes you want to watch some Godard movies and get existential, while asiago makes you want to explode and learn Italian.
The word “nutty” is thrown around a lot, and probably says a lot about the kind of people who like cheese, but asiago definitely has the nut vibes. Mmm I'm eating it right now and it's totally squirel parmesan. I'm eating it raw, but this stuff would go so well on a pasta. Throw this nutcase on some fettuccine and you'll feel like a hardcore renaissance god, ripped like Michelangelo's Statue of David. Now that is a hardcore cheese.
A must for any cheese lover: The Oxford Companion to Cheese!
And for those aspiring to cheese mastery, check out: