This is a fantastic Parmesan-style cheese, perhaps all the more because it’s made in Wisconsin, rather than Italy.
According to the Huffington Post, it was recently named Best Cheese in the U.S. in the 2009 Championship Cheese Contest. It’s easy to see why. The SarVeccio grates beautifully and has a wonderful, distinctive Parmesan taste that is great plain and can also hold its own in many dishes. The taste is at once sweet, salty and nutty, and the cheese has a nice crystally crunch.
Sartori is now in its third generation of cheese producers. The company patriarch, Paul Sartori, hailed from Valdastico, Italy, not far from the cheese-town of (and producers of the parmesan-like) Asiago. It was his dream to bring Italian cheesemaking methods and tastes to America. Wisconsin Master Cheesemaker Larry Steckbauer has been at the helm of the company’s Parmesan operation for some time.
A lot of processes are carefully cultivated and unique to SarVecchio. The cheese is washed with olive oil and aged a long 20 months. The milk is from local cows.
In addition to being the perfect grating cheese for pastas, salads and soups, SarVecchio also makes a nice dessert or munching cheese, and works with dried fruit, flavorful wine, or sherry. As a bonus, it is fairly reasonably priced, when compared to other Parmesans or grating cheeses.
We recently grated some SarVecchio over a dish of lemon-ricotta ravioli, with olive oil, super-thin zucchini slices, and soybeans. Yum!
Photo by Susan Sachs Lipman