Piave DOP Cheese
PIAVE DOP cheese is produced according to the ancient rules of the cheese-making art, now compiled in “Production Regulations”, using only cow’s milk produced on farms in the province of Belluno, the northernmost part of the Veneto region, wedged between Trentino Alto Adige to the north-west and Friuli to the east. Thanks to expert processing and the use of the finest quality raw materials, in 2010 Piave DOP cheese was awarded the Denominazione d’Origine Protetta, the European Community’s highest level of recognition for a high-quality food product
How and where is it made?
PIAVE DOP cheese is made by adding specific milk enzymes, “lactic starter” and “serum starter”, to Belluno-produced milk. These enzymes are also produced on site from raw milk and processing whey respectively, and contain indigenous strains of enzymes, which are essential for giving the product its specific organoleptic properties. After coagulation, activated by the addition of rennet, the curd is cooked and shaped in moulds, then salted by soaking it in a solution of water and salt. Lastly, the cheese is ripened in temperature- and humidity-controlled storerooms. The ripening process varies depending on the type of cheese: from 20 to 60 days for Fresco, over two months for Mezzano, over 6 months for Vecchio, over 12 months for Vecchio Selezione Oro and over 18 months for Riserva. Each of these types can boast the protected designation of origin. The area in which the milk is collected and Piave DOP cheese is made is legally defined as exclusively the province of Belluno.
What does DOP mean?
The Denominazione di Origine Protetta (Protected Designation of Origin), better known by the acronym DOP (PDO), is a quality mark that protects European agri-food excellence. In order for a cheese to be acknowledges has DOP, the production and ripening phases must take place in a defined geographical area, which, for Piave DOP, is the province of Belluno in the Veneto region of Italy.
The producer must comply with the strict production rules laid down in the production regulations and compliance with these rules is guaranteed by a specific controlling body. Piave DOP is subject to a Quality Control Plan drawn up by CSQA, a body authorised by the Ministry of Agricultural, Food and Forestry Policies.
With the publication in the Official Journal of Regulation no. 443 of 21 May 2010, Piave DOP was granted DOP recognition. The Product Regulations, the Single Document and the EU Regulation are downloadable below.