brochure newsletter

Mascarpone Cheese

 

MASCARPONE CHEESE

 

Origin:

Lombardia - Italy

 

Type:

Pasteurised cow's milk cream. Mascarpone is not actually a cheese as no starter or rennet is used in its production

 

Fat content:

70% - 75%

 

History:

Mascarpone originated in the area between Lodi and Abbiategrasso, Italy, southwest of Milan, probably in the late 16th or early 17th century. The name is said to come from mascarpa, a milk product made from the whey of stracchino or from mascarpia, the word in the local dialect for ricotta. The correct name of the cheese should be Mascherpone originally stemming from Cascina Mascherpa, a farmhouse that once was located halfway between Milan and Pavia, belonging to the Mascherpa family where it was reputedly first made.

 

Characteristics:

Mascarpone is a pale cream-coloured soft, spreadable cream cheese made from cream from cow's milk. Unlike other cheeses, Mascarpone uses no starter or Rennet, so it's not really a cheese: it's more akin to Clotted Cream, Crème Fraîche, Sour Cream or Yoghurt. The cream is denatured with tartaric acid. Sometimes buttermilk, depending on the brand, buttermilk is added. The curd is stirred, and then allowed to drain for 24 hours. The curd is then mixed, whipped, and packed in tubs for sale, and sent to market. It has a light taste with a slight tang, and a rich, silky texture. Mascarpone is mainly used as a spreadable cheese and one of its most notable uses is as then main ingredient in Tiramisu and to thicken and enrich risotto.  Because Mascarpone is a fresh cheese, it has a very short shelf life and should be consumed within a few days of production.

 

Related Cheeses

French Crème Fraîche, triple-crèmes; Devonshire cream, clotted cream.

 

Appropriate Wines

When served with berries or other fruit, a sweet dessert wine such as Marsala

 

Bottom line

A remarkable Italian staple with universal appeal.