There are all kinds of spiced and flavored cheeses on the market today. For our Peperoncino®, we went way back to find two flavor combinations that are a perfect match. To truly appreciate La Bottega di BelGioioso’s Peperoncino cheese, one must first look to the history of the ingredients used: Asiago Cheese and Red Pepper Flakes.
Asiago cheese, which takes its’ name from the Asiago Plateau in Italy, dates back to the year 1000 AD and was originally made exclusively with sheep’s milk. As cattle herds grew, by the 1500’s it was made using all cows’ milk. It is a sweet, yet flavorful, cheese that has gained international popularity.
Peperoncini peppers are said to have been brought to Italy by Christopher Columbus on his second journey back from the New World. The plants thrived in the Mediterranean climate and soon the use of these small peppers known as diavolicci (little devils) were welcomed into kitchens! It was not only used to add a “kick” to traditional dishes but was also used to preserve meats and sauces.
Today, we have combined our sweet Asiago with the spicy red pepper flakes to create Peperoncino cheese. In fact, Master Cheesemaker Josh Krause has never missed making a batch! Josh hand scatters the pepper flakes over the curd to ensure even distribution and optimal flavor in every piece. Take a little nibble and you’ll first taste the cool Asiago followed by the heat of the peppers. The heat then tapers off your palate just in time for you to take your next bite! It’s not only perfect paired with fresh vegetables on your next cheeseboard, but can add some zest to a salad, pizza and tacos.