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Mascarpone is an Italian cheese from the Lombardy region, made by curdling milk cream with citric acid or acetic acid. It is a thick, double or triple cream, soft cheese with a very high fat content ranging from 60% to 75%. The resulting rich butterfat content makes the cheese an essential ingredient in Italian recipes like Tiramisu and cheesecakes.

The texture of Mascarpone ranges from smooth, creamy to buttery, depending on how it is processed during cheesemaking. The concise portrayal of Mascarpone really is just thickened cream that is on its way to becoming butter. Making the cheese is so simple that many people easily make their own Mascarpone at home.

Mascarpone is used in both sweet and savory dishes. It is added to enhance the flavor of the dish without overwhelming the original taste. The cheese tastes best with anchovies, mustard and spices, or mixed with cocoa or coffee. Tiramisu, a layered dish with espresso, brandy, chocolate and Mascarpone has brought the cheese to the forefront of Italian cooking. Another possible use of Mascarpone is to thicken puddings and dessert creams. It is also popular as a standalone dessert served with fruit or syrup.

Whether you buy Mascarpone or make it at home, it needs to be consumed within a few days or it can go bad.

Other Italian cheeses:

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