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Fontina
Fontina PDO

Features

Fontina PDO is a very important mountain cheese.
It is the expression of nature, of good milk, of uncontaminated hay and fresh grass, of pure air: The environment of Valle D'Aosta.

The production of Fontina is mainly organised by cooperatives of producers; the dairies - for instance - do not carry out all stages of the process: the maturing of Fontina is made in 8 centres, that is caves carved into the rock that are old military depots from the last world war.

     Fontina cheese has a sweet and delicate flavour with light aromas of hay, fodder, while everything is more intense in seasoned Fontina d'Alpeggio (Alpeggio = Mountain pasture) where stronger aromas of hay and fresh flowers can be recognised: in this case cow's milk derives from pastures above 1.600 m. height produced between may to october.

Fontina PDO is a semi-cooked cheese made with raw whole cow's milk deriving from one milking only.

It is a washed-rind cheese with compact and thin rind, orange-brown colour. The semicooked past is soft and elastic, with moderate presence of eyes.
Paste colour is straw-yellow color or deep straw-yellow, depending on milk if it is of Mountain pastures or not.
SHAPES: Fontina has a flattened circular shape with a diameter between 35 and 45 cm, height ("scalzo" in italian) of 7-10 cm and weight between 7,5 to 12 kg.



Fontina PDO

How it is made?

The milk arrives in dairies and is heated at the temperature of no more than 36° C.
Cultures of indigenous lactic acid bacteria can be added; then takes place the coagulation phase with thw addition of calf rennet at the temperatura between 34 and 36░ C for 40 minutes time.

CURD

The curd is broken into small granules as a kernel of corn and this phase ("spinatura"=curd broken through a "spino" tool) is made with a semi-cooking of the mass at the temperatures of 46-48░ C; that phase ends with the fire out.


EXTRACTION AND FORMING

After no less odf 10 minutes, the cheese mass is extracted and wrapped in cloths, then put in bundles which are stacked and pressed for eliminating the whey.
The cheese wheels are turned several times. After pressing, within 24 hours, cheeses can be salted in a brine inside vat with water and salt for no more of 12 hours.

SALTING

the salting of Fontina is particular. The wheels put on shelves are turned upside down and salted and put again on the shelf; then whe the salt is dried must be brushed the face and lateral face ("scalzo") and put again upside down on the shelf. That operation helps the right develop of the rind.

MATURING

The maturing of Fontina - as we wrote - is made in caves with humidity no less than 90% and temperatures between 5 and 12 ░ C.


 

Production area

Fontina PDO is produced in the territory of Valle D'Aosta region.
The milk derives from 3 kind of cow breeds only: Valdostana Pezzata Rossa (Red Pie Cow), Valdostana Pezzata Nera (Black Pie Cow) and Valdostana Pezzata Castana (Valdostana=from Valle D'Aosta region).

Some producers

Cooperativa Produttori Latte e Fontina s.c.a.r.l.
Saint-Christophe (AO)



numbers

Fontina is the eleventh cheese in Italy for production volumes.
4.000 t in 2021 (t = 1.000 KG).

Corsortium for the safeguard of Fontina PDO

The Corsortium was established on 1952 as Corsortium of the producers. In 2002 becames "Consortium of producers and safeguard of Fontina PDO".
There are 169 Consortium partners and 52 seasoners.Many more are the total producers of Fontina PDO.


CONSORZIO PRODUTTORI E TUTELA DELLA DOP FONTINA
Regione Borgnalle, 10/L
36100 Aosta
tel.0444-321758
email: info@fontina-dop.it
website: Corsortium Fontina PDO website

 

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