What is so special about fontina cheese? One will know when one tastes it. It has amazing taste and several health benefits.
What is Fontina Cheese?
Fontina cheese is indeed a specialized aromatic, gluten-free cheese made in a specific region of the Italian Alps, in the Aosta Valley. It does undergo a unique production process and also benefits from the bountiful meadows of that region. When the dairy cows are actually moved to those higher altitudes in the spring, the lush grasses of the valley do provide a unique, earthy flavor to the milk.
Nutrition in Fontina Cheese
100 grams of fontina cheese does contain approximately 390 calories, as well as 25 grams of protein and 31 grams of fat, 20 of which are saturated fat. This serving of fontina cheese also does contain calcium, phosphorous, and sodium. This cheese also does contain high levels of vitamin A, vitamin K, and vitamin B12.
How is Fontina Cheese Made?
The production process of fontina cheese is what actually sets it apart in terms of both flavors as well as international prestige. Although there happen to be numerous other varieties of this cheese, including types from Denmark, Sweden, Argentina, and others, the original Fontina cheese from the Aosta Valley is indeed special.
How is Fontina Cheese made?
Step 1: The specialized cows’ milk is rather heated in large copper cauldrons where cheese curd do begin to develop.
Step 2: It is then, of course, strained through cheesecloth, and placed in wheel molds.
Step 3: These molds then spend three months in the caves and grottos of that valley, being turned, salted and also carefully processed by skilled artisans, several from families who have been making Fontina cheese for generations.
Step 4: After the cheese is fully matured, it can be sent out into the world.
Benefits of Fontina Cheese
There are several excellent benefits of fontina cheese, owing to its rich nutrient content, including protecting heart health and also reducing intestinal issues, as well as boosting bone health and improving cellular communication.
Numerous studies have indicated that the benefits of both vitamin B and vitamin K are for protecting cardiovascular health, the latter of which is good for protecting the integrity of one’s arteries.
Fontina cheese has long been made use as a traditional remedy for treating constipation, diarrhea, bloating, and cramps, and is generally known to boost gut health. Research done on a variety of cheese has indeed been found fontina to be a nutritious and potentially bioactive ingredient.
The high levels of calcium and phosphorous found in this specialty cheese is indeed excellent for protecting bone health as one age. Numerous studies over the years have found a direct link between a reduction in osteoporosis and regular calcium intake, and a single half-ounce of this cheese does provide nearly 20% of the calcium we require each day.
Calcium, as well as phosphorous, also do play a key role in ensuring rapid cellular communication and nerve function, as well as regulating the metabolism, maintaining normal energy levels, and also preventing certain kidney disease, as shown in numerous studies.
Understanding the best fontina cheese substitutes is important for certain recipes, or simply if one wants to add some new flavors to one’s cheese and crackers routine.
Fontina Cheese Substitutes
Good fontina cheese substitutes are semi-hard, similar to fontina, an Italian cow’s milk cheese. Young fontina is indeed very soft and melts well. Mature fontina is hard, with holes inside the cheese, and also has a very distinct nutty, buttery flavor. Fontina happens to be a popular cheese for fondue and sauces, and pairs well with savory meats and mushrooms, particularly truffles.
If one cannot find fontina at one’s local shop, there are several substitutes for fontina cheese such as Gouda, gruyere, taleggio, provolone, Emmental, mozzarella, and Edam among others.
As a popular cheese, Gouda originated in the Netherlands. It has a firm, creamy density that does indeed melt well. The flavor of Gouda does get stronger as it ages, like fontina, but retains a butteriness that does pair with wines and strong sauces.
Gruyere is a Swiss cow’s milk cheese, yellowish in color that can be substituted for fontina in several applications. It is considered one of the closest matches to fontina. It does bear more of a resemblance to mature fontina, with a dense texture and strong, nutty flavor. Gruyere is best used in soups, sandwiches, and pasta.
Taleggio happens to be another Italian cow’s milk cheese that is quite similar to fontina in terms of its high-fat content as well as strong distinctive smell. It pairs best with meats and is popular in sandwiches and on pizzas.
Provolone is a mild Italian cheese that substitutes well for fontina in baked pasta as well as soups. It is very popular as a sandwich cheese. The flavor is very mild and it also has practically no smell, making this a good switch if one is cooking for someone who prefers less pungent cheese.
Also known commonly as Swiss cheese, Emmental is a Swiss cow’s milk cheese that is hard as well as pungent. It is best-made use of as a fontina substitute on sandwiches and in fondue, whereby the nutty flavor comes out best.