Piave PDO

It is the most famous cheese typical of Belluno province. Created from the experience of local master cheese makers, it is still produced following traditional methods.
It has a sweet and intense flavour which becomes more pronounced as the cheese ages. It’s offered in various stages of maturation: Fresco (fresh), Mezzano (medium), Vecchio (mature) and Vecchio Oro del Tempo (extra mature).
Piave PDO

PDO
Protected Denomination of Origin

DETAILS:
• Average weight of the wheel: 6-7 Kg
• Diameter: 31-33 cm
• Height: 7-9 cm
• Ingredients: milk, salt, rennet. Rind not edible.

AGEING:
• Young: from 20 to 60 days
• Semi-matured: from 60 to 180 days
• Matured: over 6 months
• Oro del Tempo: over 12 months

NUTRITION FACTS (FOR 100G):
Matured Piave

• Energy: 1846 kJ/445 kcal
• Fat: 36g
  of which satures: 25g
• Carbohydrate: 0g
  of which sugars: 0g
• Protein: 29g
• Salt: 1,9g

Produced from whole cow’s milk collected exclusively in the Belluno valleys from races typical of the production area, such as the Italian Brown cow. This animal is fed local fodder rich in inflorescences which give the milk particular organoleptic properties.
 The cheese’s production process has evolved over time and, thanks to greater automation, can now ensure high quality standards without compromising the product’s typical characteristics developed through artisan experience.

Getting its name from an important river in northern Italy, Piave is born at the base of the Dolomite mountains between ancient woods and green valleys full of pastures, a difficult and rocky environment that has been used for centuries for the farming of dairy cattle.

With the decline of the Most Serene Republic of Venice, which controlled most of the territory at that time, the intensive exploitation of the woodlands provided less and Belluno’s fragile economy was put to the test. The most natural and worthwhile production alternative that would save the population in the most critical periods turned out to be the farming of dairy cattle, especially Italian Brown cows, by small mountain land owners and sharecroppers in the valley.

The first dairy cooperative in the Kingdom of Italy was established in 1872 at the initiative of parish priest Father Antonio Della Lucia in a valley near Belluno. Known as "Kasèl" in the local dialect, or "shift creamery" in plain language, it gave local farmers the possibility of working their milk in “shifts” in order to obtain precious dairy products. A new united form of management of the few resources provided by the dairy farmers helped create the foundation for the Belluno cheese making tradition.

Other larger and more organized cooperatives then followed, with the scope of transforming the large amount of local milk produced into butter, fresh cheeses and aged cheeses. These cooperatives are supported by the activities of the historic alpine huts ("maiolere" in local dialect"), which are the true keepers of Belluno’s rich cheese making tradition.

Thanks to these alpine huts, the art of producing typical cheese has been passed down from generation to generation. We however had to wait until 1960 before it was called “Piave”; the cheese was awarded the Protected Designation of Origin status (PDO) in 2010.

Piave cheese is only produced in the province of Belluno, located in the northernmost part of the Veneto region and wedged between Trentino Alto Adige and Friuli. The legendary Piave river flows through this area dominated by the famous and suggestive Dolomite mountains: from its source on Mount Peralba in the northernmost part of the province, passing through Cadore and Feltrino until it meets the plain at the foothills of the Veneto Alps.

This is the traditional cheese of Belluno, matured for a minimum of 12 months. 
A hard, compact, cooked cheese, Piave Vecchio Oro del Tempo has an intense flavour that increases as it matures.
Excellent in classical recipes from the Veneto cuisine or as a basic ingredient in sophisticated first courses. It pairs nicely with full-bodied red wines from the area (i.e. Raboso del Piave).

It combines best with classical recipes from traditional northern Italy cooking, but it also adapts well in refining typical Italian dishes.

The Fresco variety is excellent as a table cheese, breaded or melted to make vegetables and polenta more tasty.  It is best paired with young and light white wines.

Mezzano is perfect for eating by itself or cut into strips to enrich savory salads or first courses. It pairs nicely with full-bodied white and young red wines.

Grated Vecchio Oro del Tempo cheese is excellent on first courses or in slivers with an appetizer. Delicious when accompanied with a mix of fruit. It‘s excellent when served with full-bodied red wines. Great to eat in combination with nuts and pears, accompanied with a Malvasia raisin wine.
 
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