Menu

Glossary

Fontina

Fontina

Made in Italy's Val d'Aosta by a number of different cooperatives, fontina is a cow's milk cheese. The best are made from May through to September, during which time the herds graze on Alpine meadows. It has a smooth, semi-soft texture and a pale yellow interior, with an even scattering of small holes. The brown rind is thin and slightly oily. As it ages, its delicate, nutty, slightly honeyed aroma intensifies. Its creamy nature makes it very versatile, and it's particularly good melted.

Availability

All year round, with the best available from early summer to mid-winter.

Choose the best

Fontinas are also made in France, Denmark and the US but they tend to be a little bland in comparison. For the genuine article, look on the rind for the stencil of the name of the Val d'Aosta cooperative that made it, as well as their name for their particular cheese. In young fontina, the colour should be pale and milky, with a light, almost grassy smell. In older, drier cheeses, the flavour will be deeper and nuttier, the aroma fruitier.

Prepare it

Take the fontina out of the fridge and allow to return to room temperature (around 1-2 hours) before eating, so that the flavours and aroma can develop.

Store it

Keep wrapped in greaseproof paper inside a polythene bag, and store in the fridge - that way it should keep for around a week. Don't wrap it in clingfilm, as it will make it sweat, but foil is perfectly fine in the absence of greaseproof.

Cook it

As part of a cheeseboard; grilled; in pasta sauces; with ham in panini bread; melted in fondue.

Alternatives

Try Provolone or Bel Paese.

Skills & know how

As well as helping you decide what to cook we can also help you to cook it. From tips on cookery techniques to facts and information about health and nutrition, we’ve a wealth of foodie know how for you to explore.

About BBC Good Food

We’re all about good recipes, and about quality home cooking that everyone can enjoy. Whether you’re looking for some healthy inspiration or learning how to cook a decadent dessert, we’ve trustworthy guidance for all your foodie needs.

Our recipes

All our recipes are tested thoroughly by us to make sure they’re suitable for your kitchen at home. We know many of you are concerned about healthy eating, so we send them to a qualified nutritionist for thorough analysis too.

Tell us what you think…

Love the new look or think we’ve missed the mark? We want to hear your thoughts – good and bad – to make sure we make the new website as useful as possible.

Magazine

Subscribe to BBC Good Food magazine and get triple-tested recipes delivered to your door, every month.

Events

Discover the dates and details of all the BBC Good Food Shows.

On TV

See your favourite chefs on Sky Channel 247, Virgin TV 260 and find their recipes at goodfoodchannel.co.uk

Good Food Apps

Download the BBC Good Food Recipes, tips & cooking tools app and get good food on the go.