Fontina Val d'Aosta
Fontina Val D'Aosta DOP (Fontina) is a classic Italian cheese made in the Aosta Valley since the 12th century. There are many Fontina kinds of cheese made with alternative names such as "Fontinella", "Fontal", and "Fontella", but the Italian Fontina, Fontina Val d'Aosta, identified by a Consorzio (Consortium) stamp is the original and most famous. The other versions are much milder than the original Fontina. There is also a Danish version which can be recognised by the red wax rind. Italian Fontina has a natural rind that turns orange-brown with ageing.
Fontina Val d'Aosta is traditionally made from raw milk sourced from Valdostana cows. It is a seasonal product, available from September to the end of March. During its ageing process, which can last up to 90 days, the cheese wheels undergo daily manual turning and are washed with salt water. The rich buttery cheese has an earthy flavour, while the interior is pale cream and adorned with characteristic "eyes".
This versatile cheese is used in various culinary dishes including fondues and other Italian dishes. When paired, Nebbiolo, a red wine featuring notes of wild cherry and truffles, goes well with Fontina.