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Fontina is a mountain cheese from the province of Valle d'Aosta near the Swiss border, which is generally not classified as a wash type, but the surface is washed and aged. The Valdostana breed is a rare dairy cow that lives only in the province of Valle d'Aosta and can only be milked once a day. It begins production within 2 hours of milking and is only allowed to ferment naturally. For the first three months, the surface is washed with salt and water, then it's turned over and put it back on the shelf. The skin is pale orange, the inside is straw, elastic, and the cheese eyes are irregular. It features the scent of hay, which is a aging warehouse specially melted in a mountain lodge. The taste is sweet at first, and the aftertaste is bittersweet. It is rich in vitamin A and contains live lactic acid bacteria. Its taste has a rich sweetness and aroma of grass of Valle D'Aosta's mountains.
Average nutritional values per 100 g
There are many varieties of dairy cows inhabiting each region, and the difference in milk yield and ingredients between breeds gives each cow’s cheese its individuality. In order to have a cheese approved as a PDO (Protected Designation of Origin) cheese, it must be made with a specific breed of cow.
Cheeses are classified into soft, semi-hard, and hard cheeses depending on their water content. Semi-hard cheeses aging varies between one to six months, a process giving them a slightly hard and mild flavor. As these types of cheese melt easily when heated, they are very well suited for everyday use such as a panini ingredient or grated cheese in cooking.
Located at the feet of the Alps, Valle d'Aosta is the smallest region in Italy, bordering by Switzerland and France. The most known cheese from this region is 'Fontina', for which 80% of all fresh milk produced in the region is used to make.As the summer is short in Valle d'Aosta, the highly nutritious grass eaten by cows during this period produces a very limited production of cheese called 'd'alpeggio'. This cheese boastes a rich taste with a grass scent.
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