Product Typical Italian
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 Val d'Aosta and basic element of the local gastronomy, the Fontina is a semi-cooked fat cheese, made from whole cows' milk from a single milking.
A Decree of the President of the Republic 1955 has officially recognized the Fontina as a product of designated origin and 1996 it obtained the Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) by 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 you find the name "Fontina" is the 1270 (Challants Fund). Numerous are the following quotations: the term "Fontina" also appears in 1717, in a hospice of monks document the Great St. Bernard. Two etymological argument: some say it derives from the name of some local mountain pastures, where it is produced a particularly high quality, according to others would be connected to the detached attitude to the merger ( "fontis" or "fondis" in ancient French).
Fresh and fragrant essences of high altitude pastures, which extend between the most impressive mountains in Europe, are ideal power for native cows (spotted red and black spotted), from which we get the basic element of Fontina: milk. Just milked is transformed, avoiding the pasteurization and long transports, according to a still artisan procedure.
The forms (about 9 kg each) are cylindrical with flat sides slightly concave heel and are placed in caves and warehouses, moist and fresh, where stagioneranno for a minimum of three months. It is salted and dry periodically are brushed or rubbed so that the salt is evenly distributed over the entire surface.
Fontina cheese, 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 recipes. Authentic delicacies are fondue, which is obtained by heating the cheese until you get a creamy paste, which goes well with meats and vegetables, and soup to Vapelenentse, prepared with broth, cabbage and whole wheat bread.
In response to attempts to imitate that were spreading on the market was set up in the 1952 Fontina Producers Consortium, an organization for the protection of the brand and 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
The real architects of the Fontina DOP Bio are the mountain pastures of the Aosta Valley and local breeds.
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.
Instead the quality is at the highest level and constant throughout the year as the biological connotation of the die used for the production of Fontina Dop Bio makes it permissible to use milk from herds with a maximum density of cattle to 2.2 hectare.
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.
In the interest of traceability, after they have tagged with plate of casein at this point we add the manufacturer identification (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 label made of paper 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
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