Tuesday, October 25, 2011


Piave is a cow's milk cheese made in the Piave River Valley, whose source is found at Mount Peralba in Val Visdende, in the northernmost part of the province of Veneto, Italy. The land surrounding the ancient river is integral to the character of the cheese: it is where the milk is collected, the curd cooked, and the cheese aged until hard.

Often likened to the king of Italian cheese, Parmigiano-Reggiano, Piave is a deliciously nutty, pasteurized cow’s milk cheese with a concentrated sweet, crystalline paste full of tropical fruit flavor and slight almond bitterness. Aged for twelve months, Piave has a dense texture without holes that is straw-yellow in hue.
It is wonderful as a table cheese, shaved over a salad of bitter greens, or enjoyed with an aperitif. It pairs well with traditional Italian dishes such as risotto and polenta, and with richer white wines, such as Chardonnay, medium-weight reds, such as Merlot and some Zinfandels. It can also be paired with an amber ale.

Once fully aged, it becomes hard (making it well suited for grating), developing an intense, full-bodied flavor. Piave is sold in the US as a hard cheese (called Piave vecchio or stravecchio, meaning "old" or "extra-old") at which point its' taste resembles that of a young Parmigiano Reggiano. The red label is aged at least 1 year and call vecchio, the blue label is under 1 year old and softer.

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