Provolone Vs. Fontina

There are many different kinds of cheeses, with different flavors and textures. Some cheeses are harder than others, and some have a stronger flavor than others. Two popular types of cheese are provolone and fontina.

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But what’s the difference between them? Are they the same? Why are they so popular? Let’s find out.

Are they the same?

Provolone and fontina are not the same. They come from the same countries – Italy. Their textures are quite different – fontina is semi-soft and creamy, while provolone is semi-hard and smooth. Their flavors are also quite different – provolone is salty and tangy, while fontina is mild and earthy.

Why are they so popular?

Both cheeses are very popular for good reason. Provolone is salty and tangy, with a smooth texture, making it perfect for melting on pizza or in a sandwich. Fontina is earthy and nutty, with a soft texture. It’s usually used in cheese fondue and cheese dips.

Age

Provolone is aged for a minimum of 3 months for dolce or 6-12 months for piccante, some may even be over 2 years. Fontina is usually aged for 3 months up to 1 year.

Fontina is also usually aged for a shorter time than provolone. This shorter aging time results in a milder flavor and a softer texture.

The Characteristics

Provolone comes from Italy, specifically the southern region. Fontina comes from Italy as well, but it is originally from the Aosta Valley in the northwest.

Both provolone and fontina are made by allowing the curds to rest in ‘Caves’ traditionally.

The difference is that provolone uses heat to soften the cheese, also known as pasta filata, while fontina doesn’t. This means that provolone is more elastic and stretchier than fontina.

Both of them melt well too.

The Serve and Use

Provolone and fontina are both served in different ways, but they can also be used similarly. Provolone is often melted on pizza or in a sandwich, while fontina is used in fondue and cheese dips. This makes them both perfect for different occasions.

Nutrition

Both cheeses are high in calcium and protein. However, according to the USDA FoodData Central, fontina is having 10% higher calories and nearly 40% higher cholesterol than provolone (1). With that, provolone is considered the healthier option.

Price

There isn’t much difference when it comes to price. They are selling at about $23-29/pound overall. It depends on the sellers and ages of the cheese too.

Conclusion

In conclusion, both provolone and fontina are very similar, yet they taste quite different. Provolone is tangier, while fontina is softer and milder. They can both be served in different ways, but they can also be substituted interchangeably. How do you feel about these two cheeses?

Reference:

  1. https://fdc.nal.usda.gov
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