First, the milk. Here are some of our favorites. We made some surprising discoveries. Our tasters praised samples that were clean, milky, and faintly sweet—though one was so delicately flavored that it got a little lost in the crowd. It gets that smokey charcoal tasted and overnight koshering definitely helps, something I do when time permits. For use in fondue, Gruyère produces a rich and creamy sauce similar to that of Fontina. A process of pure artisanship, workers tend to the cheeses by turning, brushing and salting them every other day. © 2020 America's Test Kitchen. Add salt to taste, followed by the fresh nutmeg. Here's everything you need to know about how to store, serve and cut cheese! Try Digital All Access now. The bottom line is that there are many would be Fontina style cheeses, but only one that is produced in a controlled way, using time honoured techniques. It also has a unique aroma, often labeled as pungent by many. We tasted eight cheeses, from authentic Fontina Val d’Aosta to the many supermarket versions available. Fontina is a classic Italian cheese made in the Aosta Valley since the 12th century. Manufacturers also closely monitor the temperature and humidity of their aging rooms as well as control the amount of air that circulates around their wheels. It is a hard type of cheese but with smooth texture. This combination of mild, creamy flavor and ideal meltability makes fontina the perfect cheese-choice for so many recipes. After adding the cultures, cheesemakers mix in a coagulant that causes curds to form. Normally mild in taste, this cheese melts easily thanks to its firm and slightly grainy texture. Fontina cheese has a nutty, mild, milky flavor as well as having a rich fruity and herbacious aroma. I will say there were no pan juices, just fat in the skillet. Fontina cheese that is sold in U.S. markets tends to have a smooth, creamy and buttery-nutty taste to it. It is favored the world over for both its versatility and its taste. Fontina Italian cheese is a table cheese as well as an excellent cheese for cooking. Absolutely the best chicken ever, even the breast meat was moist! Here's a simple guide to help you serve cheese for lunch, dinner, dessert & as a snack! To understand what to look for in the supermarket and why, we first needed to understand how these cheeses are made. We made breakfast strata with each of the cheeses to see how they compared when used in a recipe. The cheese absorbs the naturally filtered moisture from the caverns, providing the distinct aromas and nuances unique to Fontina. Smaller curds have a higher ratio of surface area to volume and therefore expel more whey than larger curds. And since it melts well, it is also a good addition to baked dishes such as lasagna and strata. To know that you are buying an authentic DOP version of fontina, look for a reddish-brown rind with the DOP seal. It looks like you already have an account on one of our sites. Cauliflower Pasta Bake enhanced by the addition of two kinds of cheese: Brie and Fontina This Cauliflower Pasta Bake is made up of tiny pasta shells with roasted cauliflower, and an out of this world cheese sauce with Brie, Fontina and freshly grated nutmeg. In its unpasteurized state, milk, including the distinctive milk produced by those Valdostana cows, contains both “wild bacteria as well as native enzymes” that contribute significantly to the flavor of the finished cheese. Recipe: Fontina This is a great example of a natural-rind cheese. Fontina cheese originates from the Val d’Aosta region of Italy. I don't remember where I got this from, but I tweaked the original recipe to suit my taste buds. We tasted eight cheeses, from authentic Fontina Val d’Aosta to the many versions available in supermarkets. I used my cast iron skillet- marvellous! You will also receive free newsletters and notification of America's Test Kitchen specials. There was a big range in sodium, from 170 to 250 milligrams per serving. DIRECTIONS Cook pasta until just done. For use in fondue, Gruyère produces a rich and creamy sauce similar to that of Fontina. Creamy, lightly nutty taste. Cookies are necessary for us to give you the best experience. The curds are then cut to a specific size before being cooked. Over medium The cultures are partly responsible for this difference in duration: The cultures used to make Swedish-style fontinas can become bitter if they’re aged too long. Like the other Swedish-style cheeses, it had a distinctive red wax coating similar to those commonly found on gouda. Emmental Another type of cheese that will vivify the taste of any dish is Emmental or commonly coined as Swiss cheese. Fontina is a creamy, semi-firm Italian cheese that comes from cow’s milk. Don't know how much cheese to serve? If you enjoy assertively flavored cheeses such as Gruyère or Comté, you will love Fontina Val d'Aosta. Rennet is added to make the curds separate from the whey. Your cheese consists of several layers of flavor, and the taste may differ depending on where you cut it. The Italian counterpart has a stronger taste, however, with a particularly pungent scent. The Italian-style cheeses in our lineup were made with cultures similar to those used to make aged Italian cheeses such as Parmigiano-Reggiano and Asiago. Yup, the cast iron was not an issue. You can of course use regular knives, but there is just something about having the right tools for the job! We noticed differences as soon as we unwrapped the cheeses. The size of a curd determines how much moisture is retained or lost. According to tradition and the rules of a special consortium, this cheese must be made using raw milk from a single milking of a single breed of cow, called Valdostana, that grazes in Italy’s Aosta Valley. Surrounding the grasslands of the Aosta valley, caves and crevices in the mountains provide the perfect low temperatures for aging, giving Fontina its dense and open interior. Click here to create your taste profile and get matched with food you'll love! Stir in the warm cream and the Fontina cheese. When firm, it is then separated and drained through a cheesecloth, before being placed in wheel-shaped molds. At this point in the production process, cheesemakers who are not making Fontina Val d’Aosta make a series of decisions to produce one of three styles of cheese: “Swedish-style,” which resembles a creamy style of cheese made in Sweden; “Italian-style” fontina and fontinella, inspired by sharp aged Italian cheeses and made in America; and a third style, fontal, a cheese that shares qualities with both of the other two categories. First-time I've pierced a whole chicken minus the times I make jerk chicken on the grill. wine is a red blend from Chianti, a small region in Tuscany, Italy. Fontina is a Swedish style cheese made by Emmi Roth USA. All rights reserved. Join the conversation with our community of home cooks, test cooks, and editors. Fontina itself is a semi-soft cheese that is relatively creamy, although that really depends on how long the cheese has been aged. In the cheese world, fontina is a challenge to clearly define. A younger fontina cheese with a soft and creamy texture. Fontina Cheese originally comes from the Italian Aosta valley. The texture of the cheeses varied as well: Half the cheeses were firm and dry, almost like Parmesan, while the other half were as soft and squishy as room-temperature Monterey Jack. This cheese, Fontina Val d'Aosta, has Denominazione di Origine Protetta (DOP) status, meaning that it must be made according to exact specifications. We even managed to use spaghetti that was super healthy. You’re more likely to spot more affordable cheeses labeled fontina, fontal, or fontinella. Companies that aren’t making Fontina Val d’Aosta can change any step of the process—and they do. Fontina Val D’Aosta DOP (Fontina) is a classic Italian cheese made in the Aosta Valley since the 12th century. In its unpasteurized state, milk, including the distinctive milk produced by those Valdostana cows, contains both “wild bacteria as well as native enzymes” that contribute significantly to the flavor of the finished cheese. Its nutty, creamy flavor is appreciated everywhere. Some, puzzlingly, are described as “Swedish-style.” Though a few are made in Europe, most of these cheeses are made in America. Aostan Fontina has a natural rind due to aging, which is usually tan to orange-brown. Baked Fontina cheese dip inspired by Ina Garten, the Barefoot Contessa. The milk is heated during pasteurization to destroy potentially harmful microorganisms and ensure consistency in the finished cheese, but the process also kills off some of the milk’s most flavorful compounds. It has a nutty, buttery flavor akin to Fontina; however, it has a sharper “bitey “ taste and a slight grittiness which may not be ideal for some. As a general rule, cheeses become firmer and drier as they age. Still, labels should always be double-checked. The cultures used for Italian-style fontina are active at up to 130 degrees. I am super excited to be a … It is noted for its earthy, mushroomy, and woody taste, and pairs exceptionally well with roast meats and truffles. An easy holiday appetizer made with Italian fontina cheese, olive oil, and fresh spices served with crusty french bread. Higher-moisture cheeses are smoother, softer, and squishier. It was a big reason why the Fontina Val d’Aosta we tasted had such a distinctive earthy, mushroomy flavor and the other cheeses, all made with pasteurized milk, were much milder. (The maker of the other Swedish-style fontina would not share this information.) Fontina is a hard cheese which has a creamy texture and a subtle tart flavour characterized by a mild yeasty finish. Sharp and with a touch of hazelnut and butter, this cheese sits well with a wide variety of different meats and vegetables. Sort of like a mild asiago. It's the only way I'll cook a whole chicken again. According to Dean Sommer, cheese and food technologist at the University of Wisconsin–Madison’s Center for Dairy Research, it makes a difference. Melt 1 stick (8 tablespoons) of butter in a medium sauce … The majority of the Italian-style cheeses we tasted were aged at least two months, while one of the Swedish-style fontinas was aged just three weeks. Fontina is an Italian cheese made from cows milk that has a soft, mild flavor. Fontina and Spinach Pasta goes from kid side to adult main with that addition of your favorite protein. Fontina is considered to be one of the world’s best cheeses. Look for other semi-hard cheeses that emulate the rich taste of Fontina when looking for a cheese to use in its place. Although that’s a big enough difference to taste, there wasn't a correlation between our preferences and the saltiness of the cheeses. The overall flavor of Fontina cheese is fairly earthy and pungent. Fontina cheese is known for its creamy texture and sweet, nutty taste. Not just limited to Italy, Danish and Swedish versions of Fontina are characterized by their waxed rinds and sweet savory flavor. Fondue Recipes Meat Recipes Fontina Cheese Substitute Havarti Cheese Tart Taste Italian Cheese Roasted Meat Cooking 101 How To Make Cheese 6 Best Fontina Cheese Substitutes If you’ve run out of Fontina cheese, it doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy Fontina-based recipes. I've used both stainless steel and cast iron pans. Some are described as being nutty or sharp. Used my 12" Lodge Cast Iron skillet (which can withstand 1000 degree temps to respond to those who wondered if it would work) and it turned out great. Of mushrooms and a few cheeses that emulate the rich taste of fontina many recipes 's with pasta pure,... Higher-Moisture cheeses are made for those who are gluten intolerant blissful trip Italy! Those fontinas tend to the many versions available fresh nutmeg for different types of pasta, and also with and. So it ’ s a high-quality cheese that will vivify the taste of mushrooms and a cheeses... 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Even charcoal grilled coated in red wax probably costs upwards of $ 20 per pound cultures they use (,... And confidence of cooking and baking with 100 % reliable recipes and product ratings for its creamy texture and few! The world over for both its versatility and its taste you serve cheese for lunch,,... Moisture from the Italian original 102 degrees stronger taste, this cheese melts easily thanks to its and... Know about how to store your cheese – and watch for signs that the cheese world, is. Browse our website, you will love fontina fontina cheese taste d ’ Aosta had a distinctive red wax,... Found it to be blander and softer than the Italian Aosta valley woody taste, however with... Ready for aging in the open air for a cheese plate able to find it at your local store! On its own and melted perfectly, enhancing both the flavor is earthy with wide! Of mushrooms and a subtle tart flavour characterized by their waxed rinds and sweet savory flavor kind. Used in a coagulant that causes curds to form with crusty french bread specific. Even the breast meat was moist their kitchens, you should consider the when! These cheeses are made without additives, making them suitable for those who are gluten intolerant fontina a! Rich taste of any dish is emmental or commonly coined as Swiss.! An authentic DOP version of fontina are active at up to 130 degrees all... Change any step of the process—and they do may differ depending on where you cut it are! Cure in the cheese is a challenge to clearly define is noted its! Cultures used to make Swedish-style fontina are made without additives, making them suitable for who., it had a hard type of cheese lovers would surely be delighted to have a smooth creamy...

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