Fontina cheese is an Italian cheese that dates back centuries, with some sources indicating it is believed to have first appeared during Roman times. It is an important part of the culinary traditions of many cultures, most notably Italy and France. Made from cow's milk, Fontina cheese is a semi-soft cheese with an alluring aroma and a stable texture. It is flavoured with a light, tart, nutty flavour that pairs nicely with various forms of wine and food.
Fontina cheese is a member of the Gruyere family, which encompasses a number of French and Italian cheeses. The most unique aspect of this cheese family is that they are made using either cow’s, goat’s, or sheep’s milk. Fontina cheese, in particular, is made with cow’s milk, which gives its flavour and texture their distinctive characteristics. Some versions are flavored with mushrooms—a trend that dates back to the 18th century.
Fontina cheese is produced in many different parts of the world. The original cheese is from the Valle d’Aosta in northern Italy and is made from the area’s rich grassy pastures. Other popular versions of Fontina cheese can be found in France, Switzerland, and Denmark. The main difference between Italian and other versions of Fontina cheese is the ageing process. Italian Fontina is aged longer and has a stronger flavour and a creamier texture than its other counterparts.
Inside the cheese, the colour is pale yellow with a few small eyes. It has a uniform texture and consistency, with softer edges and a supple mouthfeel. The rind is slightly rough and glossy, and appears to be slightly lighter in colour than the cheese. The smell is both sweet and nutty, with an unmistakable aroma of butter.
Fontina cheese works exceptionally well in dishes presented both hot and cold. It melts quickly and evenly, making it ideal for sauces and gratins. Fontina also works well with grilled meats, adding unique flavours and a creative presentation. It can also be used in omelettes, pasta dishes, mac and cheese, and pizza.
Fontina cheese has a wide range of uses in the kitchen. In particular, it can be used in various cooking methods, such as fondue and baked goods. Fontina is also used to make Danish Fontina, which is a soft and creamy spread that can be enjoyed on toast, crackers, and bagels. Additionally, Fontina is used in a wide variety of recipes, making it a versatile ingredient for the home cook.
Because Fontina cheese has a high fat content, it does not freeze very well. It is best kept in a cool spot away from direct sunlight. It should also be protected from extreme temperatures as this can cause the cheese to spoil. However, when properly stored, Fontina can last for up to three weeks.
Fontina cheese is a unique and flavorful cheese that carries a strong culinary influence from Italy. As the cheese ages, its flavor and texture will develop a deeper flavor and complexity. With its ability to melt and its sweet, nutty aroma, Fontina cheese is a great addition to any table. Whether you're looking for a cheese to use as a topping or an ingredient to use in more creative dishes, Fontina cheese is sure to please and delight.
Cheese has a long and storied history, with some cheeses having origins that stretch back over 2000 years. Fontina cheese is one such cheese. Originating in the Val d'Aosta region of Italy, the cheese was likely created by monks in the 12th century, making it one of the oldest surviving cheeses in the world. The origin story of Fontina cheese is closely entwined with the area's rustic alpine pastures. Today, the cheese retains much of its ancient flavor, thanks solely to its traditional production practices. In this blog post, we’ll explore how Fontina cheese is made, how it’s used in cooking, and how it travels from farm to dinner plate.
When it comes to cheese production, two factors can override all else; the milk used to make the cheese, and the production methods. With Fontina cheese, the milk used is key in that it comes exclusively from cows that graze on the lush grasslands of the Valley, which add special aroma and flavor nuances.
Producing Fontina cheese begins with collecting the milk from the cows; sometimes from several different farms. This is graded, skimmed and pasteurized, and then production can begin. To start with, starter cultures are added to the milk to begin the cheese-making process properly. Then, coagulants are mixed into the milk, causing the cheese to curdle. Once the desired texture is obtained, the cheese curds are cut with a knife or whisk, to encourage drainage.
The cheese curds are then placed in a mold, which determines the cheese's shape. The molds are stacked and weighted to help pressurize them, and to also help remove any extra liquid. The wheels are then lifted out of the molds, and the aging process begins.
Fontina cheese is best aged between two and eight months. During this time, the wheels are stored at controlled temperatures and regularly inspected. During this period the cheese develops its characteristic fruity and nutty flavor, something that can only be achieved with proper aging. The cheese is then slathered in a salted whey brine, which helps protect it from mold.
Once the aging is complete, the cheese should have a unique texture, stronger and richer aroma, as well as nuances that are specific to the geographical area. At this point the cheese is ready for distribution and sale.
Fontina’s uniqueness does not end with its production process. The cheese’s versatile taste and texture, however, is the thing that sets it apart. Since it is a semi-soft cheese, it melts easily and can be adaptive to many dishes. When cooked, its flavor becomes sublime, sweeter and stronger. It’s also a cheese that perfects other flavors, as Fontina’s nutty and fruity nuances mix with vegetables, meats, olive, mushrooms and herbs. Due to its versatility and complexity, Fontina is often used as an ingredient in recipes that call for a strong cheese.
What’s even better about Fontina is that it is low in fat and calories, yet high in calcium, phosphorus, and plenty of vitamins. For this reason, Fontina cheese is a favorite among health-conscious cooks and diners.
Since Fontina cheese is a valued and cherished cheese, production processes are carefully regulated and must adhere to high standards set by the European Union, a designation that is carried with the cheese all the way to consumers.
Once it’s made, Fontina cheese is sold at retail outlets, specialty stores, and online. It is available in different forms, shapes and weights, ranging from small rounds, to large cylinders.
Fontina cheese has a long journey to make before it ends up on a diner’s plate. From the farmers who provide the high-quality milk to the artisans who create the cheese, and the distributors and retailers who get it to the customers, dozens of people are involved in the process - from beginning to the end.
Of course, in the end the Fontina cheese production process shows that these cheeses are made with love and care. With the right cooking techniques and ingredients, it’s amazing what can be created with this cheese. From complimentary cheese plates, to robust risottos, and delicious homemade pizzas, the possibilities are endless when it comes to Chef-ing up Fontina cheese. In the end, there’s something special about food that has been cultivated and produced with respect to its long history, as is the case with Fontina cheese.
|Vitamin A||0.261 mg|
|Vitamin D||0.6 ug|
|Vitamin D3||0.6 ug|
|Vitamin E||0.27 mg|
|Vitamin K||0.0026 mg|
|Vitamin B1||0.02 mg|
|Vitamin B2||0.2 mg|
|Vitamin B3||0.15 mg|
|Vitamin B4||0.0154 grams|
|Vitamin B5||0.43 mg|
|Vitamin B6||0.08 mg|
|Vitamin B9||0.006 mg|
|Vitamin B12||0.00168 mg|
Daily Value 1.3 g
Daily Value 0.018 g
Daily Value 0.4 g
Daily Value 1.25 g
Daily Value 4.7 g
Daily Value 2.3 g
Daily Value 0.011 g
Daily Value 0.9 mg
Daily Value 0.0023 g
Daily Value 0.055 mg
|Aspartic Acid||1.413 grams|
|Glutamic Acid||5.136 grams|
|Total Sugars||1.6 grams||
|Caproic acid (6:0)||0.49 grams||
|Caprylic acid (8:0)||0.31 grams||
|Capric acid (10:0)||0.65 grams||
|Lauric acid (12:0)||0.8 grams||
|Myristic acid (14:0)||2.96 grams||
|Palmitic acid (16:0)||8.46 grams||
|Stearic acid (18:0)||2.66 grams||
|Butyric acid (4:0)||0.72 grams||
|Total Saturated fatty acids:||17.05 g|
|Oleic acid (18:1)||7.1 grams||
|Palmitoleic acid (16:1)||0.89 grams||
|Total Monounsaturated fatty acids:||7.99 g|
|Linolenic acid (18:3)||0.79 grams||
|Linoleic acid (18:2)||0.86 grams||
|Total Polyunsaturated fatty acids:||1.65 g|
|Total Sterols:||0.12 g|