What is Fontinella Cheese?

Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen

Fontinella® cheese should not be confused with the Italian made fontina cheese, which is a creamy semi-hard cheese that is celebrated. Fontinella®, though sounding Italian, is actually made in North America, and has been produced for roughly a century. It is also a semi-hard cheese, but it has a tangy flavor, melts well and has a creamy texture that many people enjoy.

A thick wedge of fontina cheese which should not be confused with Fontinella® cheese.
A thick wedge of fontina cheese which should not be confused with Fontinella® cheese.

Right now the only brand that produces Fontinella® cheese on a widescale basis is the Stella label, which is a subset of the Saputo Cheese Company. Saputo manufactures and distributes cheeses in both the US and Canada. However Saputo’s fontinella® cheese is manufactured exclusively in the US and the cheese name is a registered trademark.

Omelets may feature fontinella cheese.
Omelets may feature fontinella cheese.

Given that it is currently only manufactured by one company, it’s fairly easy to describe. Stella Fontinella® cheese is a cow’s milk cheese, white in color, and deriving tang from several months of aging. It is made in rounds but usually sold in half pound to pound increments (.23-.45 kg). Price will vary depending upon your vendor, but you can expect to pay about $6-$8 US Dollars (USD) per half pound.

Fontinella cheese goes well with bruschetta.
Fontinella cheese goes well with bruschetta.

You can use Fontinella® in a variety of ways. Its tangy flavor makes it excellent served just as is, or paired with other cheeses and fruits on a cheese plate. It can add spice and flavor as part of the mix of cheeses that top a pizza, or you can grate or cube it for delicious chef salads. It makes a good substitute for parmesan, asiago, and romano cheese, and can easily be used in place of these cheeses over pasta or to top minestrone soup.

Sandwiches or panini (grilled sandwiches) can be excellent in taste with Fontinella® cheese. Try a thin slice or two with grilled veggies or to compliment sweet ham. Alternately, grate a bit of the cheese over bruschetta for delicious flavor. You can also add it to omelets or quiche to give sharp tanginess to these.

As expected with whole milk cheese, calorie content is not exactly low. A one-ounce (28.35 g) serving has 110 calories. It also contains a whopping 28% of the US recommended daily allowance of saturated fat, and is fairly high in sodium. In moderation, though, Fontinella&reg: cheese can be an excellent addition to many meals. You’ll find the cheese at many large grocery stores, and delis, or you can order it from quite a few Internet companies.

Creamy Fontinella® can add tanginess to the mix of cheeses used on a pizza.
Creamy Fontinella® can add tanginess to the mix of cheeses used on a pizza.
Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen

Tricia has a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and has been a frequent wiseGEEK contributor for many years. She is especially passionate about reading and writing, although her other interests include medicine, art, film, history, politics, ethics, and religion. Tricia lives in Northern California and is currently working on her first novel.

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Discussion Comments


Interesting description: "...white in color...". Is that opposed to, for example, white in taste? Smell? Texture?


When I cut fontinella cheese it has a white liquid that comes out. Why?


can I use this cheese in mac and cheese. It calls for fontina cheese. I couldn't find it. I thought the two were the same.


does this cheese work well with homemade mac and cheese.


I live in Elkhart In. I have enjoyed Fontinella for 15 years and there is no replacement. If you like wine and crackers with cheese, fontinella makes an excellent match.


Meijer carries Fontinella cheese by Stella.


Can't find Fontinella either; have been using Asiago. Texture and flavor both seem pretty close to the Fontinella we've had in restaurants.


Try Kasseri, also made by Stella. It's very similar to Fontinella.


I need a replacement for fontinella.


The grocery store that usually carries Stella Fontinella, no longer does. I need a substitute. Can I use fontina? It's just for a salad - also uses shredded provolone.

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