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When I unwrapped this cheese, I noticed right away that it had a much stronger smell than many cheeses. Earthy and almost mushroom-like, the strong scent is forbearance of the equally hearty taste. This semi-firm, cows milk cheese originates in Italy.

Two types of rinds are found on fontina- Italian fontina has a natural rind from aging; Dutch fontina has a red wax rind. I tried this cheese with the rind, without the rind, and the rind alone. The rind is very thin and doesn’t have much stand alone flavor. I don’t see the point of removing the rind, though if you want to I don’t know why you shouldn’t.

Artisanal Cheese has a wonderful little tool to help you design a cheese plate found here. This cheese is full bodied enough to serve with a nice red wine. I really like this cheese and plan on purchasing it again in the future.