At Cello, we like to refer to Fontal as one of our best-kept cheese secrets. This cheese is delicately hand-crafted, carefully shelf-cured, made with cow’s milk, and ready to hit your table in many forms. Whether you’ve never heard of Fontal, or you’re wondering why it seems to have so many different names, read up on 5 things you didn’t know about Fontal cheese, to learn a few facts that are sure to wow your guests at your next gathering.
1. Yes, there is a difference between Fontal and Fontina.
Traditional Fontina cheese originates in the Aosta Valley of Italy where the cows only graze on alpine grass. Fontina has a PDO designation, encouraging makers of this kind of cheese domestically, or in other areas outside of this Italian region, to package and sell it under a different name. Fontal is the milder, more modern cousin of the original Fontina cheese. It hails from France but is now produced in many other areas, including the United States.
2. Versatility is Fontal’s middle name.
At Cello, we add spiced rubs to our Fontal cheeses to level up the multi-dimensional flavors in this diverse cheese. Because of its unique ability to absorb other herbs and spices, paired with its status as one of the best melting cheeses, Fontal can be used for just about anything. Try melting a rubbed Fontal on your next homemade pizza to add a bit of extra zing.
3. Fontal has one of the shortest aging periods.
As a general rule, cheese becomes firmer and drier as it ages. Our Fontal has an aging period of only about 90 days, allowing it to maintain that creamy, smooth texture this cheese is known for. Fontal cheese is young and adaptable, making it both a crowd-pleaser and a cheesemaker’s go-to for quick production.
4. Fontal has a notably sweet finish.
This mild, meltable table cheese has a slightly sweet flavor, striking a perfect balance with some of the sharper, more aged cheeses you might want to display on your cheeseboard. Fontal’s sweet finish is also tinged with a bit of tartness that’s ready to be coaxed out by a dark beer or a full-bodied red wine.
5. Fontal is one of the most affordable cheeses.
When you’re in the specialty cheese aisle shopping for a variety of cheeses to display for a party-pleasing appetizer, it’s easy to get sticker shock. Artisan cheeses can often come with a price tag that makes it difficult to purchase all of the different kinds of cheese, meats, and other foods you’d love to offer your guests. Add Fontal to your cart and you have a delicious cheese that leaves plenty of room for the rest of the bells and whistles.
Now that you’re full of Fontal knowledge, head over to our store finder to see where you can find one of the uniquely hand-rubbed Fontals from Cello Cheese.