Say “Cheese” This Winter!

by Travis Loncar on December 6, 2011

If you’ve followed Pennsylvania Macaroni Company in any way (be it visiting us in the Strip, liking us on Facebook, or following us on Twitter), you’ve probably come to an early, informed conclusion that the title of this post is not a friendly reminder of the decorum for this year’s family Christmas photo. While it is nice to smile for the camera, we’re not in the business of directing photo shoots, so we’ll leave that to those who are. We are, however, in the business of cheese! All kinds of cheese, in fact! From our delicious holiday Italian cheese sampler (December’s Sampler of the Month) to popular domestic and foreign varieties, when it comes to being curd-sick, we’ll get you cured!

winter cheese


Anyways, onto the underlying reason for this post – to inform you of a few types of cheese that really “hit their peaks” during the winter months.


We begin with Piave, a delicious cow’s milk cheese from the Piave River Valley region in Belluno, Italy. This sweet, often dense cheese typically hardens as it becomes more aged, making it ideal for grating. It pairs well with various contemporary Italian meals and is complimented nicely by a shimmering glass of Chardonay or white wine.


Aged Asiago cheese is an absolutely tremendous choice throughout the holiday season. Like Piave, it becomes relatively firm with age and can be used grated over soups, salads, pasta dishes, what have you. If you’re looking for something that has more of a bitter taste, Asiago is the way to go!

grated asiago



Unlike the first two, Toscano, produced in Tuscany, is a ewe’s milk cheese. When aged (as it likely will be in winter), it is used similarly to both Piave and Asiago as a grated cheese. Throughout Italy, Toscano is one of the more popular parmesan alternatives.

As you may have noticed, these cheeses are all of the aged variety. This isn’t merely a coincidence, believe it or not! It’s typical of some cheese types to reach maturity during winter – these three being among them. If you’re preparing a gourmet Italian dish this holiday season, strongly consider using one (if not all three) of these cheeses as a grated topping! We can promise that you won’t regret it! Remember, you can purchase all three of these cheeses (with the addition of Pecorino Sicilian) in our December Sampler of the Month! Once you try them, let us know what you think!

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