Fontina

History

Fontina is believed to have originated in Valle d’Aosta, Italy high in the Alps near the borders of France and Switzerland. Since this geographic area has been in constant fluctuation, little recorded history exists on the exact origin of this marvelous cheese. However, in 1951 at the Stresa Convention, it was declared that Fontina made in Valle d’Aosta, Italy with unpasteurized milk was the original. Those cheeses made with pasteurized milk on an industrial scale should actually be called Fontal.

Appearance

Fontina is a semi-soft, pressed, cooked cows’ milk cheese which is molded in thick rounded edge wheels, about 3” thick and 10” in diameter. The outside of the cheese is coated in a bright red paraffin wax. Ideally, the paste is smooth, slightly elastic and straw colored with sparse small round holes scattered throughout the cheese. The cheese is warm ripened for at 30 days prior to shipment.

Flavor

Fontina has a delicate, nutty, almost honey flavor. There should a slight tang but not an acidic or bitter aftertaste. The finish of the cheese should be clean.

Fontina Pairings

Storage Tips

Ideal storage temperature is 40 – 45 degrees Fahrenheit with an elevated humidity of approximately 65%. Keep the cheese under refrigeration and wrap the cheese in waxed or parchment paper. Store in a sealed plastic container pierced with a few holes for air circulation. If the cheese appears to be drying out, place a clean damp paper towel in the bottom to elevate humidity.