Fontina is a type of Italian cheese that originated in the region of Aosta Valley.
It is made from cow’s milk and is sold as unaged or aged, depending on how long it has been aged.
The younger variety is best used for cooking because it melts well.
Fontina can be combined with herbs and spices to create various sauces, which are used to top pasta dishes or baked vegetables.
The flavor of Fontina is rich, creamy, and nutty.
It also has a melting texture that makes it perfect for cheese spreads or melted on top of sandwiches or meat pies.
The flavor intensifies as the cheese ages up to 4 months, making it quite popular among aged varieties.
In this article, we will provide you with the five best substitutes for Fontina cheese.
What is Fontina Cheese?
In short, it is a type of Italian cheese produced since the eighth century.
The cheese is named after its place of origin, which is Fontina d’Aosta in northern Italy.
In total, Fontina Cheese is made from cow’s milk instead of other cheeses such as Gorgonzola, an Italian cheese, which is made from cow and goat milk.
The flavor of Fontina cheese varies depending on its age.
This variation in how the cheese tastes mean that it is used for cooking purposes in many different ways because there are so many flavors to choose from.
It can be eaten as part of an antipasto dish with truffles or mushrooms, or it can even be eaten on a cheese platter.
In terms of taste, the longer the cheese has been matured, the stronger its flavor is.
Fontina cheese can be bought from supermarkets and specialist butchers.
As well as being found in Italy itself, this type of cheese is widely exported to other countries such as America, where it is very popular.
The 5 Best Substitutes for Fontina Cheese
When a recipe calls for fontina cheese, it can be hard to find a suitable substitute.
Many recipes require a specific type of cheese to work properly, so finding the best replacement is important.
The following list contains some of the most common substitutes that can be used as alternatives to this Italian favorite:
1 – Gruyere Cheese
This is a type of Swiss cheese made from cow’s milk.
It has a nutty flavor, so it works well in most Italian dishes.
Most chefs tend to buy this cheese for their store cupboard because it can be bought in large chunks and lasts for months without spoiling.
The best part about using Gruyere Cheese is that it melts easily, so it tastes great on top of pizzas or in the middle of a burger.
It’s also more pungent than other cheeses such as Emmental.
In addition, it is important to note that this particular type of cheese is more expensive than most others.
When selecting a Gruyere Cheese, you should look out for specific characteristics.
Firstly, the cheese should be pale yellow and have a smooth texture free of cracks.
It’s also vital to ensure that the cheese feels firm when you press it lightly with your finger.
Some variants contain holes that make them unsuitable for high-temperature dishes like pizza or lasagna.
2 – Munster Cheese
As far as cheeses go, this one originates from the Limousin region of France.
It has been widely exported since it was first sold in markets many years ago.
In addition, this is one of the most popular French cheeses.
Munster cheese has a soft and damp orange rind on the outside of its body.
Its color is typically bright orange or red which may vary depending on age.
What’s more, Munster Cheese has an intense flavor that varies in strength depending on age.
It can, therefore, become rather powerful in taste.
This is why it’s commonly used in recipes that contain strong-tasting meats or are dressed with rich sauces.
Munster Cheese tastes great on its own and is often used as a snack or appetizer.
3 – Gouda Cheese
Gouda cheese is most popularly found throughout the Netherlands and Northern Germany.
It has a mild flavor compared to other cheese types, such as brie or camembert.
This is because Dutch Gouda has a buttery flavor that tastes great in most Italian recipes.
This cheese is smooth and firm but slightly oily on the inside.
It also melts easily, so it’s suitable for pizzas or baked dishes like lasagna.
Furthermore, this is one of the most adaptable types of cheese because it can be mixed with different ingredients to create a wide range of tastes.
Another crucial characteristic of Dutch Gouda is that this cheese has a naturally sweet flavor.
4 – Feta Cheese
Feta cheese is a blue-veined cheese produced from sheep and goat milk.
It originated in Greece, but it can be found worldwide.
For example, it has been used in Greek cuisine for many years.
Feta cheese is crumbly in texture, which is why it works well when added to Greek salads or eaten on its own with crusty bread.
It’s also worth noting that this type of cheese has a salty flavor that can vary depending on the producer.
Some versions are mild, while others may taste intense.
However, all types of Feta Cheese add a strong flavor to Italian recipes.
5 – Provolone Cheese
This type of cheese is a firm cheese that originates from Italy.
It has been used in the Mediterranean diet for centuries, and it’s commonly served when entertaining guests.
Provolone Cheese has a smooth texture with no holes in its body in terms of appearance.
In addition, this type of cheese tastes sweet when compared to other types such as cheddar.
Provolone Cheese melts well and adds a creamy flavor to Italian dishes.
What’s more, as a general rule, this particular cheese is pale yellow and has a firm body that feels smooth when touched.
In addition, it should have a slightly sweet taste with nutty undertones.
Fontina Cheese is one of the most popular types of cheese in Italy.
It has a smooth texture and adds an intense flavor to any recipe.
However, other alternatives are being used more frequently nowadays due to their high price.
As outlined above, other great substitutes for Fontina cheese include Munster cheese, Gouda cheese, Feta cheese, and Provolone cheese.
Each of these substitutes has a distinct flavor that adds to Italian recipes.
In conclusion, the substitutes listed above work well as replacements for Fontina Cheese.
Some versions may taste more intense than others, but they’re all suitable options that can be used instead without ruining an Italian dish.