Fontina DOP is a soft and sweet cheese made in Val d'Aosta, the Nothwaestern mountain Italian region bordering with France. In the rich Alpine pastures, local cattle feed naturally to produce the spacial milk with which this cheese in made.
The name Fontina recurs in the name places in the region, bu tty e association with the cheese is documented starting from the XVIII century. Like other kinds of cheese, the Fontina was originally produced when there was a large availability of milk; in Val d'Aosta this happened during the summer, because in the winter each family was left with just a couple of cows. Up to 1800s Fontina was then produced in that season; afterwards, turn-based dairies, where milk was shared, were set up and production could be perform all year long.
The production of Fontina DOP still follows the traditional process: milk is not pasteurized or moved to long distances. All of this happens to the production of a sweet, delicate flavored cheese, highly energetic and rich in phosphorus, calcium and A and B vitamins.
It can be used in many different ways, but the famous fonduta stands out among them, for which this cheese is perfect due to the melting temperature of just 60°C. Fontina DOP can be enjoyed as an ingredient in other traditional dishes such as Valpelline Soup with Lardo d'Arnad DOP, another gourmet food from the region, or in Costolette alla valdostana. It is fantastic with polenta used as a side dish to stewed meat or rabbit.