We both know how difficult it is to trawl the aisles for a non-dairy cheese alternative if you are vegan. But, if you reside in Italy, Asiago cheese is one you should try since it is quite popular in Italian households.
Yet, as vegans, we need to double-check that the product is dairy-free and plant-based. Yet every now and then, we find ourselves in the valley of disappointment, knowing that even the most promising cheeses for salads and vegetables may include rennet. Is asiago cheese, on the other hand, vegetarian?
No, vegans should avoid asiago cheese. Unfortunately, this is another day for a sinking sensation since Asiago is a rennet-based cow’s milk cheese.
- What Is Vegetarian Cheese?
- What Is Asiago Cheese?
- How Asiago Is Made?
- Conclusion: Is Asiago Cheese Vegetarian?
What Is Vegetarian Cheese?
To put it simply, vegan cheese is a non-dairy, plant-based cheese. They are often manufactured from plant-based ingredients such as peas, soybeans, coconut, cashews, or almonds.
They vary from soft, fresh cheese to old and hard grateable cheeses, which are commonplace. But, it is no longer vegan if it contains even a trace of animal products.
As a result, Asiago cheese is not vegan and should be avoided. It is not suitable for vegetarians since it includes rennet, an enzyme found in the stomach lining of a calf or goat.
Parmesan, Manchego, Pecorino Romano, Gruyre, and Gorgonzola cheeses should also be avoided since they are not legally vegetarian. Nondairy versions of Parmesan, Gouda, Cheddar, Mozzarella, and Cream cheese are available.
It is preferable if you have a flawless vegan cheese recipe. You may then substitute the milk and culture with nondairy milks such oat milk, coconut milk, almond milk, cashew milk, and others.
Are you still not convinced?
What Is Asiago Cheese?
Asiago is a famous Italian cheese manufactured from cow’s milk, and each slice or block coupled with casseroles, pizza, or sandwiches packs a punch.
The cheese is D.O.P., which means that the original Asiago is likely to be found only in the alpine area of the Asiago plateau in the Trentino-Alto Adige and Veneto provinces.
It is not to say that other nations cannot produce high-quality Asiago-style cheese. The actual object, no matter where it is, always has a D.O.P. or D.P.O sticker. Also, cost varies depending on locale and aging time. Yet, imported D.O.P. Asiago cheese is usually expensive.
The texture of the cheese may vary from fresh to medium to hard depending on how long it has been matured. Apart from that, Asiago cheese comes in two varieties: fresh and aged. Fresh Asiago cheese has a thin rind and is either white or light yellow.
It also has little, uneven holes all throughout the inside. The texture is medium (neither soft nor hard), similar to that of a firm sponge cake, with a buttery scent and a somewhat sweet and sour taste.
However, Old Asiago may range from light yellow to amber yellow in color and has a strong structure. It has a robust taste that is nutty and yeasty. Fresh Asiago may be grated, sliced, cubed, or melted and used in sandwiches, crackers, toast, or over casseroles, pizza, and cheesy pasta dishes.
Aged Asiago, on the other hand, is best used for grating and shaving into sauces, soups, pasta, or on top of salads.
How Asiago Is Made?
Remember how we stated there are two types: fresh and aged? And they’re both created differently yet with the same components.
Fresh Asiago is made using whole milk. However, aged Asiago is made from a combination of whole and skim milk. Both, however, are cooked to 95 degrees Fahrenheit before adding rennet and enzymes to make curds. After kneading, it is heated to a higher temperature of roughly 105 to 115 degrees Fahrenheit.
If the Asiago is fresh, the maker salts and presses it dry for two days before soaking it in a brine for two days.
It is then dry-aged for up to a month. In the case of aged Asiago, the curds are drained from whey in molds. It is then rubbed with salt or immersed in brine before being aged for many months to two years.
Conclusion: Is Asiago Cheese Vegetarian?
In conclusion, Asiago cheese is not vegetarian. Nevertheless, Parmesan and Pecorino Romano are acceptable replacements. Those who can’t locate Aged Asiago cheese may use these substitutes; just look for the vegan version.
But what if you can’t? Don’t be concerned. If you are lactose intolerant, there are numerous dairy-free and vegan choices to fit your diet and lifestyle. I’d choose conventional paneer and cottage cheese. They are made without rennet and thickened with an acidic material such as lemon or vinegar juice.
When all else fails, vegetarian artisan cheeses are an excellent alternative!
- How Does Asiago Cheese Taste?
- What Is the Different Between Pecorino and Asiago Cheese?
- Which is better, Asiago or Parmesan cheese?
What cheeses are vegetarian?
Which types of cheese are often vegetarian? Traditional paneer and cottage cheese are produced without rennet and coagulated using an acidic substance such as vinegar or lemon juice.
What cheeses are not vegetarian?
Many people are surprised to discover that not all cheeses are vegetarian. Animal rennet is used in the production of several cheeses, including Parmesan, Gorgonzola, Pecorino Romano, Camembert, Gruyere, and Manchego. Animal rennet is a collection of enzymes that are generated in the stomachs of unweaned calves and operate to curdle the casein in milk.
Is Parmesan Asiago vegetarian?
The Asiago mix (the cheese used in the Pacific Veggie Hand Tossed crust) includes lipase enzyme from an animal source, however the rennet is generated from a non-animal source. Parm
Can vegetarians eat any cheese?
A vegetarian diet avoids items derived from animals (such as meat), although cheese may be vegetarian if it does not include animal rennet.
What American cheese is vegetarian?
Organic Valley, Bel Gioioso, Cabot, Applegate, Tillamook, Amy’s, Laughing Cow, and Horizon are some notable companies that provide vegetarian-friendly cheeses. Most essential, read the ingredient label on any cheese you can find.
Which cheeses have animal rennet?
Rennet, an enzyme found in the stomach lining of a goat or calf, is used to make Parmesan cheese. Since it is used in cheeses such as Parmesan, Pecorino Romano, Manchengo, Gruyère, Gorgonzola, and others, they are not truly vegetarian.
What foods are surprisingly not vegetarian?
These are a few surprise dishes to avoid if you’re feeding a vegetarian visitor or turning vegetarian yourself.
Soups with vegetables…
Altoids, Candy Corn, Tortillas, Some Vitamins, Processed Sugar, and Red Candies.
More to come…
•Jul 27, 2017
Can vegetarians eat mozzarella?
Cheeses Made Without Rennet
“Many softer cheeses, such as mozzarella, paneer, ricotta, and cream cheese, utilize whey or another form of acid as their coagulant rather than rennet, so they are suitable for vegetarians,” Birnbaum explains.
Is Asiago a sheep cheese?
Asiago is a cow’s milk cheese manufactured in the Veneto and Trentino-Alto Adige areas surrounding the Asiago plateau.