Italian food in general has thousands of amazing cheeses, made with as many different techniques matured during decades or centuries of local tradition. I can’t hide I’m a huge fan of all the Italian cheeses, but since you’ll maybe visit Venice someday, we’ll take a look at our locals ones, hoping that you could taste at least one of them.
The wide cheese selection from Veneto
Let’s take a quick look:
Asiago is one of the many DOP (certified and protected italian product) cheeses in Veneto, and one of the most famous. It comes from the same town near Vicenza. It’s actually a quite famous place, visited especially during winter season. As for the cheese its tradition is 1000 years old and it’s made in several varieties, from soft (young) to very matured.
Formajo Imbriago (drunk cheese) is a cheese from the river Piave area near Treviso. It has a quite interesting story that explains its origins. After the loss at Caporetto in 1917, the local farmers who were fleeing the area decided to hide their cheese, that was still maturing, under marcs from wine production, in the attempt of saving some precious rations during wartime. The result surprised everyone and gave birth to this very peculiar cheese, immediately recognizable through its typical violet color, given by the marcs.
Bastardo del Grappa (“bastard”) is one of the many traditional cheeses from the Monte Grappa area (see also our post on Bassano del Grappa and 4 other interesting places to visit in Veneto). The name “bastard” was given because of the several different recipes and production techniques used on this cheese: in particular there are hints of goat milk, used to fill the sometimes meagre cow milk rations. The result, however, is not bastard at all, but definitely noble!
Grana Padano is one of the most famous Italian cheeses all over the world. Very similar to the also famous Parmigiano Reggiano but made with a slightly different process. It’s actually original from all the Padania area, not just Veneto, but given its importance we had to nominate it. It’s used tyically on pasta sauce, lasagne, pasticcio, as long as hundreds more very classic Italian recipes.
Montasio is another DOP cheese of Veneto, originally from Belluno and Treviso. Among this short list of cheese it’s probably the most delicate, and it covers a wide range of uses. Just as Asiago, it also has different maturation ages.
Morlacco del Grappa again, as you can understand from the name, this cheese comes from the Grappa area. It’s the most typical and traditional cheese of this area, and you can find excellent shops that sells it at Bassano or Asolo (see the post linked above). Also known as Formaggio dei Poareti (“Poor Men’s cheese”) for its origins, that root back to the 1400. Personally my favourite in this short list mainly for it’s cooking use. In fact, one of my favourite Italian recipes involves this cheese: risotto with Morlacco and pears.
This above was just a selection of my favourites cheeses, but there would be many others. You can find more info and descriptions on this website: http://www.venetoformaggi.it/en/homepage.php