Piave Vecchio Naturale

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Pasteurized milk

Until the 1960s, Piave was made in small batches by dairies local to the Piave River Valley in the province of Belluno in Veneto. Today, the production of Piave has become industrialized yet, against the odds, the makers of Piave have maintained their high standards and the cheese is still of excellent quality. What distinguishes one Piave from the next begins with the aging. Fresh Piave is aged from 20-60 days, semi-aged from 60-120, and mature or "vecchio" from 120 days to upwards of 12 months. While the young cheeses are pleasant, they lack the depth and complexity of the more mature wheels.

After maturing for a year, Piave develops a hard, granular texture full of crunchy protein crystals. The mild milkiness of the young cheeses gives way to sharper, more pronounced flavors of pineapple, hazelnuts, and caramel. Most Piave is treated with E235 (Natamycin), an anti-mold and yeast additive, and E203 (Calcium Sorbate), an antifungal preservative. Our Piave, known as “nudo” is untreated and all natural. The difference is dramatic. By leaving the cheeses untreated and all-natural, they continue to mature and the results are fantastic. You’ll first notice the contrast in appearance. Rather than the bright yellow rind you might be accustomed to, the rind on the untreated Piave is a natural tan color. It might have a bit of bloom, showing that the cheese is alive and well. The real difference is in the flavor. Unhindered by chemical additives, the nutty, caramel flavors deepen and blossom into a truly exquisite cheese.

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