|Country of origin||Italy|
|Source of milk||Cows|
|Certification||EU: PDO 1996|
Fontina (French: Fontine) is an Italian cow's milk cheese. Although made throughout the year, the best cheese is obtained during the summer when the cows are moved to an altitude of 1,800 to 2,300 ft (550 to 700 m) and fed only with rich grass to give it a distinctive aroma. Fontina has PDO status under European law.
Fontina cheese has been made in the Aosta Valley, in the Alps since the 12th century. It has a milk fat content around 45%. It can be identified by a Consorzio (Consortium) stamp of the Matterhorn including the script "FONTINA".
As with many other varieties, the name "Fontina" has been imposed upon by such derivatives as "Fontinella", "Fontal", and "Fontella". Although the version from Aosta Valley is the only original and the most famous, a derivative production occurs in other parts of Italy, as well as Denmark, Sweden, Quebec, France, Argentina, and the United States.
The original Fontina cheese from Aosta Valley is fairly pungent and has quite an intense flavor, although Fontina-like labeled cheeses 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 Aostan Fontina by their red wax rind (also prevalent in Argentine Fontina). Aostan Fontina has a natural rind due to aging, which is usually tan to orange-brown.
It is noted for its earthy, mushroomy, and woody taste, and pairs exceptionally well with roast meats and truffles.
Young Fontina has a softer texture (and can be suitable for fondue). Fonduta alla valdostana (in Italian) or Fondue à la valdôtaine (in French) 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.
- Dicitonnaire Larousse
- Ehlers, Steve; Hurt, Jeanette (1 April 2008). The Complete Idiot's Guide to Cheeses of the World. DK Publishing. p. 66. ISBN 978-1-4406-3618-9.
- Heimowitz, Colette (13 March 2012). The New Atkins for a New You Breakfast and Brunch Dishes. Simon and Schuster. p. 180. ISBN 978-1-4516-8972-3.
- 'The history', Cooperativa Produttori Latte e Fontina (2006).
- Fontina on Cheese.com
- Artisanal Premium Cheese
- See 1 and 2.
- Rubino, R.; Sardo, P.; Surrusca, A. (eds.). Italian Cheese: 293 Traditional Types. ISBN 88-8499-111-0
- The Milk and Fontina Producers Co-Operative (Italian) (French) (English)