Piave Cheese DOP

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Piave DOP is a hard, cooked-curd cheese with a compact texture, without holes, and an elastic structure that crumbles easily with ageing. It is made from the pasteurized cow milk of two milkings - morning and evening - of which one is usually skimmed. Cow milk used for this cheese should be at least 80% from breeds of cattle typical of the production zone: Bruna Italiana, Pezzata Rossa Italiana and Frisona Italiana breeds, which are reared exclusively in the production area.

For centuries, Piave DOP was a local secret that never had a name or had made it out of its local region of production. Named after the Piave River, Piave cheese is originated in the Belluno Region in the Dolomite mountain in the picturesque Italian Alps, roughly halfway between the Austrian border and Venice. The area is very suited for dairy farming due to its unique climate.

Piave has a DOP certification which restricts the production of “official" Piave to its place of origin: the Dolomites area, in the province of Belluno, at the northernmost tip of the Veneto region. Its rind is impressed repeatedly in vertical direction with the name of the cheese. The colour of the label of the Piave DOP is an indicator of the cheese maturity and texture. The black/brown label is aged over 18 months, the red label is aged at least 1 year and is called Vecchio (Piave Vecchio Selezione Oro), while the blue label is softer.

Facts About the Cheese

Formaggio piave vecchio riserva

Certification: EU: PDO 2010

Texture: Hard

Source of Milk: Cow

Pasteurized: Yes

Region: Province of Belluno, Veneto

Aging Time: From 20 days to more than 18 months

Piave is offered at 5 different ages:

  • Piave Fresco DOP (20 to 60 days aging - blue label)
  • Piave Mezzano DOP (61 to 180 days aging - blue label)
  • Piave Vecchio DOP (more than 6 months aging - blue label)
  • Piave Vecchio Selezione Oro DOP (more than 12 months aging - red label)
  • Piave Vecchio Riserva DOP (more than 18 months aging - black/bown label)

Tasting Notes

A dense texture, without holes, very light coloured in the fresh type and takes on an increasingly intense straw-yellow hue with aging

Milky and pleasant, the aroma is evocative of yoghurt.

The flavour is strong and pleasant, slightly salty. Sweet in the fresh cheese, once fully aged, it develops an intense, full-bodied flavour, fruity notes upfront with a bright and buttery finish. It is a cheese that melts on the palate.

Eaten as a table cheese or used as the basic ingredient for traditional recipes like “formai frit”. Piave Vecchio D.O.P. is also an excellent grating cheese.

A complete product in terms of nutrition, Piave is an easily digestible cheese with high allergy tolerance because of the very low concentrations of lactose which has been broken down during the fermentation processes.

Pair Me With

Piave cheese is the expression of a tradition built around flavour and wholesomeness. It is used as the basic ingredient for traditional recipe formai frit which consists of fried cheese served with polenta and cabbage.

  • Piave Fresco is indicated for melting and is ideal for making pancakes or leek soup;
  • Piave Mezzano cheese is excellent when diced or sliced in dishes such as soufflé; Enjoy it with fruits (grapes), honey or Tropea onions jam.
  • Piave Vecchio is an excellent grating cheese and perfect in savoury flans or vegetable risottos.



Piave dop origin map

Its name derives from the homonymous river, Piave. It begins in the Alps and flows southeast for 220 kilometres (140 mi) into the Adriatic Sea near the city of Venice. The milk used is that which comes from the mountains, even from high altitudes.

About the Consortium

The consortium for the protection of formaggio piave

The Consortium for the Protection of Formaggio Piave (Consorzio per la Tutela del Formaggio Piave in Italian), with offices in Busche di Cesiomaggiore (BL), was established in 2010 to protect the PDO (DOP in Italian) from misuse, counterfaiting and unfair competition.

The Consortium also has the task of protecting the typicality and the peculiar characteristics of Piave cheese, to promote it on all markets – both national and international – and to uphold it by providing product information to consumers.

The Consortium ensures that Piave cheese is produced according to the ancient rules of the dairyman’s art, today gathered in “Production Regulations”, using only cow’s milk produced on farms in the province of Belluno, the northernmost tip of the Veneto region, wedged between Trentino Alto Adige to the northwest and Friuli to the east.


Main content, images, and video by the The Consortium for the Protection of Formaggio Piave.

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Written by Taste - True Italian Taste Project