Fontina cheese is a softer cheese originating from the Italian Alps where a specific breed of cows are raised in a pristine micro-climate and milked to produce the creamy milk rich in natural vitamins and flavors for this cheese. The totally organic, nutty-flavored cheese was popularized in North America by the Danes, but you can try to make your own version. You will not be able to call it Fontina since your ingredients and procedure will be different, but it will be similar.
Things You'll Need
- Whole milk
- Metal spoon for stirring
- Steel mold
- Weight for pressing
Gather the fresh, unpasteurized, organic milk from a grass-fed cow. It should be fresh, no more than two hours old, if possible. If no such milk is available, use the freshest whole milk you can find.
Heat the milk and rennet in a stockpot to 115 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove it from the heat and allow it to sit covered for one hour so the rennet has a chance to curdle the milk.
Strain the curds through the layers of cheesecloth and squeeze to remove as much of the whey as possible. Place the curds into a prepared sterilized mold and press for 12 hours.
Remove the cheese from the mold and store on a pine shelf in a cave or basement where the humidity is a high 80 to 90 percent and the temperature is about 50 degrees (F).
Rinse the cheese with brine every other day and brush it on alternate days to prevent buildup of mold on the rind. Flip the cheese daily so the bottom is exposed to the air, allowing the rind to harden equally all over. Repeat this process for three months or more.
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