fontina a mild Italian cheese from the Val d’Aosta. It has been produced since the 15th century, is made from whole cow’s milk, and comes in wheels which weigh anything from 8 to 18 kg (18 to 40 lb). The texture is smooth, usually pitted with tiny holes, and the cheese melts well; it is used for the famous Turin dish fonduta (see fondue) and in cooking. Older cheeses can be grated.
© the Estate of Alan Davidson 1999, 2006, 2014 © in the Editor’s contribution to the second and third editions, Oxford University Press 2006, 2014.