5 Things About Mascarpone Cheese

dessert made using mascarpone
Credit: Pixabay/RitaE

You may know mascarpone as the star of the show in some classic Italian dishes, velvety sauces, cheesecakes, or even tiramisu. You may have wished to know more about the creamy ingredient. Keep reading to learn five exciting things about Mascarpone Cheese.

What is Mascarpone Cheese?

Mascarpone cheese is ivory-coloured, exceptionally soft, slightly sweet and tart, spreadable cheese often described as Italian sweet cream cheese. Mascarpone originated around the 17th century and is most commonly made with pasteurized cow's milk. The origins course back to Abbiategrasso and Lodi in the Lombardy region, in northern Italy. The cheese is most well-known as the key ingredient in Italian desserts.

1. High-fat content

Mascarpone cheese is quite indulgent but may raise concerns in health-conscious minds. The cheese has exceptionally high-fat content, with a lavish 43 grams of fat per 100 grams (usually ranging from 60% to 75%) - it has the highest fat content in the domain of cheeses. The high-fat content is attributed to its rich and creamy texture.

2. Made from fresh cream

While many cheeses are made from milk, mascarpone is generally derived from cream. This full-bodied triple-cream cheese is made from fresh cream. Traditionally, the fresh milk of cows that graze pastures filled with fresh herbs and flowers is used for the processing of the cheese. Though the freshest milk is still the best option, Mascarpone can also be made with cream from the store.

3. Mild flavours

Mascarpone is slightly sweet with a hint of acidity that overpowers the tanginess. Its rich, creamy texture makes it an indulgent addition to both sweet and savoury dishes. The cheese has a mild flavour and yet there's a distinct sweetness. It also exhibits a subtle buttery undertone that adds a layer of richness to its flavour profile.

tiramisu dessert
Tiramisu dessert. Credit: Pexels/min che

4. Homemade Mascarpone

Why buy expensive tubs of mascarpone when you can make it at home? All you need is two staple ingredients: fresh, high-quality heavy cream and lemon juice (or citric acid). It is vital to observe factors such as the right temperature and the right amount of citric acid. Then, it needs to have enough resting time in the refrigerator to get the final result of a delicious creamy cheese.

5. Quick Production

Mascarpone is a fresh cheese that can be produced relatively quickly compared to aged cheeses. It doesn't require an extensive ageing process, usually being ready for consumption shortly after its production.