A large, round wheel of rich, smooth, buttery cheese made with raw cow's milk, similar to Gruyère. This ancient cheese has a dense, golden yellow, salted paste with small holes and is aged for about four months and brown rind. It is made in Valle d’Aosta in Piedmont, where it is matured in special grottos, governed by its PDO. Only those considered to be of high quality are stamped with the name of 'Fontina'.The flavour is delicately fruity, milky, almost buttery and it has good melting properties. As with many hard alpine cheeses, those made with the milk of cows which have grazed in the mountain pastures on spring meadow flowers and grasses have the very best flavour. As affinage is around 4 months, this means that the best cheeses are probably available in June to July. It is commonly used in fonduta.