Each week we profile a different variety of Cheese, from the texture to the serving suggestion…this week it’s the smooth and slightly tart Fontina.
Fontina originated in Italy in 1477 in the mountainous Val d’Aosta region near the Swiss border. It was named Fontina d’Aosta for Mont Fontin and the nearby village of Fontinaz. Fontina is considered to be one of the most versatile cheeses in the world because it is excellent as both a table cheese and a cooking cheese. Fontina has been copied often; the most notable versions are the Italian-style, Swedish-style and Danish-style. Today, Wisconsin cheesemakers produce all three varieties.
Made in 3 styles: DANISH: slightly tart, nutty, mild earthy flavor; mellow to sharp depending on age. Red waxed. SWEDISH: slightly tart, nutty, mild earthy flavor; mellow to sharp depending on age. Red waxed… ITALIAN: mild, earthy, buttery flavor. Smooth, supple texture with tiny holes. Brown coating.
Danish-style: Pale ivory to light straw yellow, red wax coating, slightly rounded corners Italian-style: Ivory to pale gold, both rindless and brown coating Swedish-style: Pale ivory to light straw yellow, red wax coating, straight corners
Smooth, supple with tiny holes, semi-soft, slightly creamy
Danish-style and Swedish-style: slightly tart, tangy, nutty, light earthy flavor; mellow to sharp depending on age Italian-style: mild, earthy, buttery
Serve Fontina for breakfast with fruit and breads or use in egg dishes, crepes, fondue and Raclette applications. Add shredded Fontina to the crust of your next apple pie or add it to dough for cheese breads. Layer slices of Fontina between slices of polenta drizzled with marinara sauce; bake until cheese melts and the dish is heated through. Excellent in Focaccia sandwiches layered with pesto, roasted red peppers and Italian salami; serve hot or cold. Layer slices of Fontina with mild copa or wine salami and roasted red peppers on a panini, then grill.
Goes Well With
Veal, prosciutto, Genoa salami, crusty bread, peaches, melons, figs, nectarines Fruity wines; light reds like Gamay Beaujolais or Pinot Noir; whites like Riesling or Gewurztraminer
Danish-style Fontina: 10-pound red wax wheel Italian-style Fontina: 20-pound brown-coated or rindless wheel, 10-pound rindless wheel, 10-pound half wheel, 8- to 10-ounce random-weight cuts Swedish-style Fontina: 18-pound rindless block, 10-pound red wax wheel, 8- to 10-ounce random-weight cuts The Italian version of fondue is made with Fontina, white truffles, eggs, milk and white wine. It is whipped and poured over individual plates of rice, boiled potatoes, polenta or steamed vegetables. Some Wisconsin cheesemakers refer to Danish-style Fontina as Scandinavian-style.
Fontina was made popular in the United States by the Swedes when they began exporting Swedish Fontina.
S08 E13 – Kyle and Jessica take on the Bayview of Milwaukee in a day of great food and cocktails.
S08 E12 – Wisconsin Foodie visits Spain with Jessica and Karen Bell to see and taste all it has to offer.
S08 E11 – We explore Organic Valley at the Kickapoo Country Fair and All Seasons Farm and watch Organic Valley turn their milk into butter.
S08 E10 – We explore the world of perch at UW-Milwaukee School of Freshwater Science and at Wendt’s Fish Fry.
S08 E09 – We celebrate Native American culture at Indian Summer and then are treated to a traditional musky meal made with wild rice.
S08 E08 – It’s all things cheese at Cheesetopia where we check out a bunch of cheeses and then profile LaClare Farms and their amazing goat cheeses.
S08 E07 – Stoney Acres Farm hosts a pizza night with ingredients right from their farm.
S08 E06 – In this episode, we join George Bregar at Company Brewing as he makes a pale ale with fresh, locally sourced hops. Then we celebrate Oktoberfest with Deb and Dan Carey of New Glarus Brewing.
Wisconsin Foodie is organizing Cheesemaker tours this Spring/Summer and we’d like you to join us.
S08 E05 – This week we tour the driftless region and visit Driftless Organics, Viroqua Food Co-Op, and Rooted Spoon.