Cheese of the Month
I found Piave last month as Trader Joe’s cheese of the month. It’s a hard cow’s milk cheese from the Veneto region in Northern Italy, near the Piave River. The milk is not only from the area surrounding Piave, but the cheese is also made and aged in the same area.
While this cheese is likened to Parmigiano-Reggiano, and gets similar crystalline salty bits and crunch, I did find the flavor different. The cheese is not quite as firm as Parmigiano, making it easier to cube without completely crumbling. It’s still hard, just not quite as hard as Parmigiano. I found the flavor a bit more earthy and bitter. While it has a nutty taste like Parmigiano it’s more of a walnut taste, then say a toasted hazelnut. It’s has a hint of bitterness mixed with earthy grass.
This cheese pairs well with fuller bodied reds such as Zinfandel and Sangiovese. While best shaved as a topping on salads or grated into pasta, you can also cube it for a table cheese.