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Fontina PDO.jpg
Country of origin Italy
Region Aosta Valley
Source of milk Cows
Pasteurized No
Texture semi-soft
Fat content 45%
Certification EU: PDO 1996
A 1480 fresco from the Castle of Issogne: the forms of cheese on the right are thought to be the earliest depiction of Fontina.[1]

Fontina (French: Fontine[2]) is an Italian cow's milk cheese.


Fontina cheese has been made in the Aosta Valley, in the Alps since the 12th century. It has a milk fat content of around 45%.

Italian Fontina can be identified by a Consorzio (Consortium) stamp of the Matterhorn including the script "FONTINA".

As with many original varieties, the name "Fontina" has been imposed upon by such derivatives as "Fontinella", "Fontal", and "Fontella"[citation needed]. Although the version from Aosta is the original and the most famous, Fontina production occurs in other parts of Italy, as well as Denmark, Sweden, Quebec, France and the United States[citation needed].

The original Fontina cheese from Italy is fairly pungent and has quite an intense flavor, although cheeses labeled Fontina that are produced in other countries can be much milder. The Swedish and Danish versions are often found in US grocery stores, and can be distinguished from Italian Fontina by their red wax rind. Italian Fontina has a natural rind due to aging, which is usually tan to orange-brown.[3]


Young Fontina has a softer texture (and can be suitable for fondue). Fonduta alla valdostana (Italian) or Fondue à la valdôtaine[4] is a traditional dish of Fontina whipped with milk, eggs and truffles. Mature Fontina is a hard cheese. Fontina has a mild, somewhat nutty flavor, while rich, herbaceous and fruity. It melts well.


Fontina produced in the Aosta Valley must be made from unpasteurized milk from a single milking, with two batches being made per day.[5] It is noted for its earthy, mushroomy, and woody taste, and pairs exceedingly well with roast meats and truffles.[6]

Fontina has PDO status under European law.


  1. ^ 'The history', Cooperativa Produttori Latte e Fontina (2006).
  2. ^ Dicitonnaire Larousse
  3. ^
  4. ^ See 1 and 2.
  5. ^ Rubino, R.; Sardo, P.; Surrusca, A. (eds.). Italian Cheese: 293 Traditional Types. ISBN 88-8499-111-0
  6. ^ Artisanal Premium Cheese

External links[edit]