Cheese Travels with Jim Wallace

A journal of travels to explore the old ways, history, and process. Visits with the cheese makers and photographs of the surrounding beauty. Jim teaches traditional cheesemaking in the US and can be contacted via ...

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Western Massachusetts USA, United States
I have been visiting cheese makers throughout Europe for many years now, researching the old ways of traditional cheese making . I currently teach several workshops on traditional cheese making in the US and can be contacted at ... ____ In my recent past I have traveled the wild places of this planet making photographs and fine prints. The blend of my cheese travels and making photographs combines the best of both worlds.

September 26, 2009

Sept 14 The cheese of Asiago

Rain today but perfect for a visit to an Asiago producer at the far end of the valley. This is the large family run cooperative where they make not only the Asiago but Grana Padano (the caves held 30,000 of these huge Granas) as well as Provolone.
They make 2 types of Asiago. One is a young table cheese (Assiago Pressato) with full fat. The other is Assiago D' Allevo with partially skimmed milk and a much longer aging becoming drier with stronger flavors.
The most interesting part of this visit is the large scale but yet the focus on quality. It is most impressive.
The guide is a young woman in charge of quality analysis for both raw milk coming in and the finished cheese as it ages. She explains that since the cheese is all AOC, they are under the same rules as the smaller scale cheese makers but they are more carefully watched because of their larger scale.
In the Cheese Cave
This is only one row in a roomful of 30 thousand cheese.
That's a lot of Grana$$$ Padano!

A Rainy Night

On our return, and after a much needed afternoon rest we head off to the small town nearby, Levico Terme with its traditional shops and restaurants. A quiet early evening admiring the towns architecture in the rain and wandering through the shops (more bins of mushrooms and shelves of grappa). Yes, I should have bought the funghi there! Instead we returned empty handed in this food group.

Our dinner choice was well made with the chefs focus on the style of Mantova. Pumpkin ravioli and a lamb roast with the nice local white. Finished with cafe and a grappa. Perfect for a rainy night.
Finished with Gelato on the walk out. OF coarse I asked for pesci instead of pesca and raised a laugh. Not sure that fish flavored gelato is as good as peach.Anyhow they have to love us for trying!

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