What Is Fontina Cheese?
Fontina is an Italian cow’s milk cheese that originates from the Aosta Valley, which is in the north of Italy. Fontina is a semi-soft cheese, that is a creamy, pale yellow color. Denmark, France, Sweden, and the U.S. also have their own versions of Fontina cheese.
What Does Fontina Cheese Taste Like?
Fontina cheese has a nutty, earthy, and buttery flavor. Italian variations tend to be sharper in flavor compared to varieties of Fontina that are made elsewhere.
How Can You Eat Fontina Cheese?
Fontina works great in hot dishes and melts very nicely. One common recipe is Baked Fontina, which is a combination of Fontina, olive oil, and herbs, and is served as a hot dip for bread. This cheese makes a great addition to sauces, sandwiches, pizzas, and pasta dishes. It also works well on a cheese plate at room temperature paired with fruits.
Where Can You Buy Fontina Cheese?
Fontina cheese can be found at many grocery stores with a specialty cheese section or a large selection of cheeses at the deli case.
How Do You Store Fontina Cheese:
Fontina cheese should be stored in the refrigerator until it is ready to be used in hot dishes, or taken out to come to room temperature before serving. Fontina cheese should be stored in an airtight container and can be stored for up to 10 days. It can also be wrapped in plastic and kept frozen for a few months. To defrost, place in the refrigerator overnight before use.
Fun Fact About Fontina Cheese:
Similar to Swiss, Fontina cheese can sometimes have small holes, or eyes, in the cheese that are caused by bacteria that release carbon dioxide bubbles as the cheese ages.
Did You Know?
Unlike Brie cheese, the rind on fontina cheese is usually made from wax and is not edible.
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How To Make A Grilled Cheese Sandwich (with Fontina cheese)
Recipes Using Fontina Cheese
This baked cheese dish is easy to make and only requires a few ingredients. Take cubed fontina cheese and place it in a cast-iron skillet or baking dish. Season the cheese with olive oil, salt, pepper, and finely minced garlic. Add in fresh herbs like rosemary, thyme, and oregano and bake until bubbly!
Mushroom and Fontina Toast
Slice a loaf of french bread and toast it in the oven until slightly crisp. Top each piece of bread with mushrooms sautéed with butter, garlic, thyme, and parsley. Add shredded fontina over the mushroom and broil for two minutes or until the cheese is melted.
Mini Fontina Frittatas
Make these mini egg cups for a fun take on breakfast. In a large mixing bowl, beat eggs, cream, and fontina cheese until combined and season it with salt and pepper. Place the mixture in a greased muffin pan and bake in the oven until the eggs are set. Add in your favorite fillings like crumbled bacon, spinach, or diced roasted poblano peppers to add extra flavor!
Fontina and Tomato Sandwich
Slice tomatoes and wash whole leaves of basil, a type of fresh herb. On buttered sourdough bread, layer slices of fontina, tomato, and basil. Toast the sandwich in a frying pan until both sides are golden brown.
Risotto with Spring Peas, Ham and Fontina
This dish uses starchy arborio rice and chicken stock to create a velvety texture. Fry the rice with onion and olive oil, and ladle in hot chicken stock in batches, stirring and letting the rice absorb the stock before adding more. Finish the risotto with cubed ham, peas, and fontina cheese for a delicious meal.