Springbank Cheese Co. Crowfoot




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Italy’s Piave—as Versatile a Cheese as You Could Ever Want!

Piave, the cheese, is named after Piave, the river, which flows from Mount Peralba in Val Visdende, in the northernmost part of the province of Belluno, Italy. The river serpentines through the valley landscape, following a path that leads it to the bottom of the valley, finally reaching the plain at the foothills of the Prealpi Venete mountains in the province of Treviso. Much as the river Piave flows through the region, carrying with it minerals and currents throughout the land, Piave cheese dots the landscape, bringing with it the cheesemaking traditions of days gone by. The scenic landscape surrounding this ancient river has borne witness to centuries of cheesemaking craftsmanship in which methods and recipes have been refined, or, as some of us would say, perfected!

Another favorite Italian cheese from roughly the same region is Montasio (which we’ve had the pleasure of featuring a few times in the past six years). Like Montasio, Piave is made using the milk of two milkings, which partially accounts for their similarities in flavor. This technique, in which milk obtained from morning milking is mixed with the milk collected in the evening, is employed in the making of many cheeses. In the specific case of Piave, the evening milk is partially skimmed to remove its cream before the two are combined. When you’re talking about cheese, you’re really talking about milk (just a different form, no?) That’s why we must pay homage to our bovine buds without whom this gourmet delight would be impossible. Piave is produced with milk from the Bruna Alpina cows who enjoy a diet of fresh foliage from the region’s various mountainous pasturelands. Their milk is rich and high in protein, making it particularly well-suited for cheesemaking. The abundance of herbs and grasses in the alpine pastures infuses Piave with a sweet and delicate finish that you’re sure to adore. In fact, this is one of those cheeses that just about everyone can enjoy! Its flavors are accessible enough to appeal to the cheese naïve, yet complex enough to please the palates of the frommage cognoscenti. Whichever category you find yourself in—enjoy this difficult to find Italian treat!