Fontina originated in Italy in 1477 in Valle d’Aosta — a region of northwest Italy bordered by France and Switzerland. Lying in the Western Alps, it's known for the iconic, snow-capped peaks the Matterhorn, Mont Blanc, Monte Rosa and Gran Paradiso. Fontina is considered a very versatile cheese because it can be used as both a table cheese and a cooking cheese.
Although made throughout the year, the best cheese is obtained during the summer when the cows are moved to an altitude of 550 to 700 metres and fed only with rich grass to give it a distinctive aroma. Fontina Cheese was one of the first cheese to be given DOP (Protected Designation of Origin) status by the European Union, which requires that Fontina Val d'Aosta be produced with the milk of the cows from the Valle d' Aosta
Fontina has been copied often, with the most notable styles being Italian, Swedish and Danish. The Italian style: has a smooth, supple texture with tiny holes, a brown coating and a flavour that is mild, earthy and buttery. The Swedish variety: is slightly tart and nutty yet has a mild earth flavour that runs mellow to sharp depending on age. The Danish Fontina: is also slightly tart and nutty with a mild earthy flavour that ranges from mellow to sharp depending on age.
WHAT CAN I USE IT FOR?
Among its many uses, Fontina is a traditional table cheese in Italy. It is served alongside other table cheeses, such as Gorgonzola, along with Italian bread, fresh fruit & black olives. Fontina is also a wonderful cheese to use in addition to mozzarella on a pizza. It’s smooth texture and tangy flavour make a delicious topping for any gratin, and this creamy cheese also melts nicely into soups, chowders, pasta or sauces.