Mascarpone (//, or //; Italian: [maskarˈpoːne]) is an Italian cheese made from cream, coagulated by the addition of certain acidic substances, such as lemon juice, vinegar, citric acid or acetic acid. It is recognized as a Prodotto agroalimentare tradizionale (traditional regional food product).
Mascarpone is milky-white in color and is easy to spread. It is used in various Lombardy dishes, and is considered a speciality in the region. It is one of the main ingredients in the modern Italian dessert known as Tiramisu, and is sometimes used instead of butter or Parmesan cheese to thicken and enrich risottos.
Mascarpone originated in the area between Lodi and Abbiategrasso, Italy, southwest of Milan, probably in the late 16th or early 17th century. The name is popularly held to derive from mascarpa, an unrelated milk product made from the whey of stracchino (a young, barely aged cheese), or from mascarpia, a word in the local dialect for ricotta. Ricotta, unlike mascarpone, is made from whey and in cooking can be a healthy alternative in texture and taste because of the fat content.
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- Media related to Mascarpone at Wikimedia Commons