Found: Sartori Rosemary Asiago & Balsamic BellaVitano

The tangy balsamic is the stuff dreams are made of.

Photos by Rochell Van Deurzen
Photos by Rochell Van Deurzen
Photography by Josh Blaylock
I have something to share with you. Something really, really wonderful.

There is this cheese, this BellaVitano-style cheese made by Sartori. It’s got Balsamic. Need I say more?

I pretty much will dive headfirst into anything made with Balsamic. This cheese is of that crumbly, sharp nature that gives you nasty breath that’s totally worth it.

From what I could learn, Sartori blends the flavors of young cheddar and aged Parmesan, then immerses the block into 6-year aged, imported balsamic, then aged some more. Something I really enjoy about this cheese, apart from its tangy flavor, is the crunch of the calcium crystals.

It won a silver medal at the World Cheese Awards in 2009, and for good reason. I highly recommend this with a rich red wine, because that’s definitely how this whole slice disappeared in my house. With lots and lots of wine.

IMG_3219Since I was so impressed with this variety, I decided to try another Sartori I saw at Central Market, a rosemary-and-olive-oil flavored asiago.

While it’s certainly tasty and it looks lovely with the herb crust on top, I didn’t love this one quite as much as the balsamic BellaVitano. That’s very possibly because I just adore balsamic so much.

It’s a very granular, bitter cheese, one that would work really well as a grating or topping cheese. It’s got a sharpness to it that the rosemary seems to accentuate.

Apparently this one achieved gold-medal status at the World Cheese Awards, so who am I to judge? I like it enough to eat it, but next time I’ll try the Basil and Olive Oil Asiago. I might grate this on pizza for the bright herbiness, but for eating by itself, the balsamic is more pleasant.

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