Fontina Valdostana DOP
Updated: Nov 3, 2021
Fontina DOP is a semi-cooked cheese made from whole cow's milk produced from cows of the Valdostana breed (Pezzata Rossa, Pezzata Nera and Castana). The production area of Fontina DOP falls within the territory of the autonomous region of Valle d'Aosta.
The area of production, maturation and portioning of Fontina PDO cheese must be exclusively that of the entire territory of the Aosta Valley.
“The shape is typically flattened cylindrical, with flat faces, originally concave, not always detectable when ripe. The rind is compact, soft or semi-hard, brown in color, which varies from light to dark depending on the ripening conditions and the length of aging.”
According to some, the term “fontina” could derive from the name “Fontin”, that is from the village of Fontinaz. What we know for sure is that it appears for the first time in a Latin-language document from 1270, probably to identify a piece of land.
THE VALDOSTANA BREED
The Valdostana Pezzata Rossa, like the other red spotted breeds that populate the base of the Mont Blanc massif, most likely derives from the spotted cattle originating from Northern Europe introduced by the Burgundians towards the end of the 5th century.
According to the Regulations, these pastures can feed exclusively on hay, feed and natural herbs: this gives the cheese an extraordinary olfactory and gustatory bouquet, especially for those from the mountain pastures, produced only between May and September.
Surely the best known Fontina PDO dish is the Aosta Valley fondue, but there are many delicious and easy-to-prepare recipes.