DOP stamp for the Valle d’Aosta’s prince of cheeses
Fontina is a cheese that brings together all the exclusive aspects of unpasteurized and whole milk and its manufacture; it has a compact, thin, brown crust, inside of which is a semi-cooked, elastic and soft paste with a few small holes. The cheese is a pale yellow colour if produced in winter, when the cows are fed hay, and becomes a deeper yellow if produced during the summer. It has a sweet taste and its fragrant aroma intensifies as it matures.
This cheese has a high energy value, being rich in phosphorus, calcium and vitamins A and B: it is a whole, genuine and digestible food. Its production is controlled by a rigid discipline which defines it: "a fatty cheese with a semi-cooked paste, produced with whole milk from the Val d’Aosta breed of cows (red-brindle, black-brindle, chestnut), obtained in one milking".
In 1996, Fontina gained the Protected Designation of Origin (DOP) stamp from the European Union, which unequivocally decrees that it must be produced exclusively in the Valle d’Aosta, a region with particular geographical, pedological, climatic, agronomic and cultural conditions, thus protecting it from attempts at imitation. When it is fully matured, the Fontina DOP Consortium of Producers and Protection proceeds with stamping: the authenticity and quality of wheels bearing this stamp are guaranteed.