Ingredient of the Month – Fontina from the Foothills of Aosta

  • Fontina from the Foothills of Aosta

Ingredient of the Month – Fontina from the Foothills of Aosta

This month we are excited to announce, as the ingredient of the month, our fontina, a key topping of our new summer pizza the Fontina Pancetta. This Italian cheese is creamy with a subtle yet distinct flavour that pairs perfectly with the saltiness of the crispy pancetta that tops this new addition to our menu.

Produced in the Aosta Valley of Northwest Italy in the small Medieval village of Donnas, our fontina is the creation of local dairy company, Nicoletta. Nicoletta is a family company that was established in 1988 with the aim of producing expertly made and aged cheeses, typical of the area. Alongside nearly 30 years of expertise in the art of cheese making, Nicoletta also accredit the high quality of their cheeses to the cool and damp climate, and the mountain flora which means that the cow's milk produced in the area is high in vitamins, protein and great natural aromas. Working with several small, local dairies, Nicoletta pays the utmost attention to each different cheese, carefully regulating how it is salted, washed, and turned. The result? Perfectly produced cheeses that are pieces of gastronomic art.

The most famous of the Aosta Valley's dairy products is fontina. Made exclusively from whole, unpasteurised milk that has been attained from a single milking of local cows, the result is a very pure, semi-hard cheese. The milk used in fontina production is processed within two hours so that the biological components of the milk remain intact. Once made, the cheeses are seasoned in natural caves carved into the stone of the mountains, which guarantees that temperature and humidity are maintained at optimal levels. The final product is a melt-in-the-mouth cheese, with a full flavour that is slightly sweet and nutty.

In official recognition of how special this Italian cheese is, it has been labelled under the EU system of Protected Designation of Origin, meaning that to truly be called fontina it has to have come from the countryside of the Aosta Valley, and be made with this very specific production method. Want to try this delicious and special cheese for yourself? Order in dinner tonight and treat the family to the new Basilico Fontina Pancetta – Nicoletta's fontina perfectly combined with crispy pancetta, summery red pepper pesto and cooked red onion, and creamy fior di latte mozzarella.

What do you think of Basilico's new summer pizza? Let us know on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram! 

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