Milk: Cow, Raw Milk
Country: Italy, Valle d’Aosta (Piedmont)
Accompaniment: Bold reds
A cheese with a history that goes back to the middle ages, Fontina Val d’Aosta is the only original version of that or similar names. Its production process is governed by strict rules that comprise the fact that the milk should be derived from a single milking of Valdaostana cows that graze in alpine pastures, should never be pasteurized and after production should be washed with brine every other day. Its maturation usually takes 90 days. The distinct trade mark of the cheese is the outline of the Matterhorn. In all, there are some 400 producers of this cheese in the valley.
The cheese has an elastic texture, a reddish-brown natural rind and an ivory interior dotted with holes called “eyes”. It has a distinct (barnyardy) aroma and the flavor pattern ranges from sweet to nutty, with grassy and earthy notes.
It is a great snacking cheese but also works extremely well as a melting cheese.