In the great cheese spread of life, you'll always find mascarpone in the sweet spot. Sure, it can add creamy oomph to risottos, pastas, and mashed potatoes, but it's among the desserts that mascarpone truly feels at home. It's the very essence of tiramisu, the luscious filling of a lemon layer cake, and the velvety texture of a very berry tart.
Mascarpone heralds from the Lombardi region of Italy, but seeing as how Wisconsinites love desserts almost as much is cheese, it was only a matter of time before we made this spreadable cheese our own. Because, come on, what's better than a dessert with cheese?
Mascarpone is a very accommodating cheese – it can enhance the flavor of any recipe without overwhelming its fellow ingredients. Mascarpone can add sweet fluffiness to a sour cherry cheesecake, or deliver zing to a bowl of grilled fruits. And when mascarpone is the foundation of your homemade ice cream, everything is pretty much right with the world.
For savory dishes, mascarpone makes for a decadently creamy parmesan risotto, or treat yourself to a Saturday breakfast of mascarpone spread on toast and sprinkled with cinnamon. For a delicious cheese spread, mix mascarpone with ricotta, goat cheese, honey, and top it with pine nuts. Or melt it with butter and a little parmesan for a simply wonderful white cheese sauce for a weeknight pasta.
It's a little tougher than other cheeses to pair mascarpone with beer and wine – you definitely want to stay clear of hoppy beers and tannic wines. However, sweet drinks like port, grappa, fruit liqueurs, fruit ales, and hard cider will treat mascarpone just fine.
Mascarpone is an Italian-style cheese from the Lombardi region of northern Italy made from whole cream and thickened with citric or tartaric acid. With a milky and slightly sweet flavor and tangy finish, mascarpone has a high butterfat content of 60 to 75%. This soft cheese is an essential ingredient in Italian desserts like tiramisu and cheesecake, but can also be used in savory dishes.
Mascarpone is made by removing the whey without pressing or aging the curds. A citric acid is added to thicken the cheese. It is then cooled to room temperature, poured into a cheesecloth to remove excess liquid, and allowed to set in a shallow pan while it's chilled for a day or two.
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Get this: at a recent World Championship Cheese Contest, a Wisconsin cheesemaker won the award for best mascarpone in the world.
The best Italian-style mascarpone in the world, made in Wisconsin. Now that may seem strange to you, but it seems quite natural to us. That's because, for 175 years, we've been taking traditional cheese recipes from all over the world and working our cheese wizardry to make the best cheeses on the planet even better.
This dedication to cheese – you might call it obsession – is the reason we produce more flavors, varieties, and styles anywhere else in the world. It's what drives 90% of our farmers to devote their milk to making cheese, and why we wanted to make dang sure that we have the only Master Cheesemaker program in the world aside from the one in Switzerland.
So, next time you want to sweeten up your life with a dollop of mascarpone, make sure it's Wisconsin born and raised. Because how else would satisfy your sweet cheese tooth than with products from the State of Cheese?
Craving award-winning aged cheddar, pining for parmesan, or searching for a new cheese to try? The world’s best cheese is just a click away! Explore our directory of Wisconsin cheesemakers and retailers who offer online cheese shopping and get cheese shipped right to your door. What are you waiting for?
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In Wisconsin, we make more flavors, varieties, and styles of cheese than anywhere else in the world. We believe in tradition, producing everything from Italian classics, like parmesan and ricotta, to swiss cheese and cheddar varieties. But every Wisconsin cheesemaker is an innovator as well, which is why we have so many Wisconsin originals, like colby and muenster. Whether it’s a grilled cheese sandwich, potatoes au gratin, or a charcuterie board, Wisconsin cheese makes every dish and recipe tastier.