Protected Designation of Origin (PDO)
Reg it to EU Reg EC no. 1107 of 12.06.1996
OJ L 148 of 21.06.1996
Product par excellence of the Valdostana agriculture and basic element of the local gastronomy, la Fontina is a fatty cheese with a semi-cooked paste, made from whole milk from a single milking.
A Decree of the President of the Republic of 1955 has officially recognized Fontina as a product with a designation of origin and in 1996 it has obtained the Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) from the European Union.
The typical dairy activities, however, dates back to long before, and already in the fifteenth century was the subject of a thorough description by the doctor from Vercelli Pantaleone Confienza, in which treated are noted with clarity and precision processing techniques and the organoleptic characteristics of this cheese.
The oldest document in which the name "Fontina" is found is from 1270 (Fondo Challant). There are numerous subsequent citations: the term "fontina" also appears in the 1717, in a document by the monks of the Great Saint Bernard Hospice.
Two etymological theses: according to some it would derive from the name of some local mountain pastures, where it is produced a particularly valuable quality, according to others it would be related to the strong aptitude for fusion ("fontis" or "fondis" in ancient French).
The fresh and fragrant essences of the high altitude pastures, which extend among the most imposing mountains of Europe, are the ideal food for the indigenous cows (red spotted and black pezzata), from which the basic element of the Fontina: milk.
As soon as it is milked, it is transformed, avoiding pasteurization and long transport, according to a procedure that is still artisanal.
The shapes (about 9 kg caduna) are cylindrical with flat faces with slightly concave sides and are placed in caves and warehouses, wet and fresh, where they will age for a minimum of three months.
The salting is done dry and are periodically brushed or rubbed so that the salt is evenly distributed over the entire surface.
La Fontina, with a sweet and pleasant taste, has a high energy content and is rich in phosphorus, calcium and vitamins (A and B).
It is consumed raw or in the context of delicious cooking recipes.
Authentic treats are the fondue, which is obtained by heating the cheese to obtain a creamy paste, which goes well with meats and vegetables, and the vapelenentse soup, prepared with broth, savoy cabbage and wholemeal bread.
In order to react to imitative attempts that were spreading on the market, the Consorzio Produttori Fontina, the body protecting the brand and the quality of this unique and inimitable cheese.
Consorzio Produttori Fontina Valle d'Aosta
11100 Aosta (AO) - Aosta Battalion Course, 27
Cooperative Milk Producers and Fontina
11020 Saint-Christophe (AO) - Loc Croix Noire, 10
0165.35714 tel - fax 0165.40551 0165.236467
Visitor Center Valpelline
11010 Valpelline - Fraz Frissoniere
tel and fax 0165.73309
Guided tours by appointment - purchase products
I veri artefici della Fontina DOP Bio sono i pascoli montani della Valle D'Aosta e le bovine di razza autoctona.
In Valle d'Aosta the exploitation of pastures is run according to a schedule respectful of the territory.
In organic production of milk for Fontina PDO, Organic pasture spring you go to summer pastures at high altitudes.
The Aosta Valley races, and in particular Simmental have a variable milk production in quantity and organoleptic characteristics as a function of the assumed type of power: fresh product from spring to autumn or the fi eni of the territory in winter.
La qualità invece è ad altissimo livello e costante nel corso dell'anno in quanto la connotazione biologica della filiera usata per la produzione di Fontina Dop Bio fa sì che sia ammesso l'utilizzo di latte proveniente da allevamenti con una densità massima di 2.2 bovini per ettaro.
An important note concerns the integration of the winter fodder which provides the prevalent use of cereals all from organic cultivation.
Immediately after milking is started working with calf rennet thus ensuring that the characteristics of milk are transferred unchanged in the curd and recognized in Fontina PDO Bio.
The breaking of the curd after this first step is important for keeping in shape while curing the subsequent rise in temperature to-46 48 ° C promotes bleeding clots.
The curd is then placed in molds and pressed to complete the whey.
A tutela della tracciabilità, dopo aver marchiato con placchetta di caseina a questo punto si aggiunge l'identificazione del produttore (CTF).
The wait! After a first salting the forms are addressed to the seasoning where they will remain out of fir wood planks for a minimum of 100 days period, treated only with strofi natures and salting of the surface.
The maturing caves of Fontina Dop Bio, are cut into the rocks, have a temperature of 6-8 ° C depending on the time and humidity reaching up to 95% to guarantee a slow and steady ripening.
All forms are also subject to certification Bio Dop.
After the aging, each form is examined by a qualified technician of the Consortium producers and protection of Dop Fontina and, if it falls in the quality standards imposed by the specification, receives the Protected Designation of Origin and consequently the stamping own Dop Fontina.
Last but not least, the affixing of the "pelure", a paper label that in addition to identifying the production dairy also guarantees the Bio certification of the product.
Fontina cheese can be stored in the refrigerator or in the cellar.
In this case, the room temperature will be wet and not to superiorie 10 ° C, preferably on a wooden board.
The form will be kept moist and free from mildew by wiping it with a cloth moistened with water and salt.
Production Fontina PDO Bio:
Fromagerie Haut Val d'Ayas
11022 Brusson (AO) - Rue Trois Villages 1
tel. 0125 301117
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Photo by: Contatto Febe - Milano