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The 6 Different Substitutes For Fontinella Cheese

Maria Foster
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by Maria Foster

Fontinella cheese has a unique flavor profile to it, that makes it prized as a cooking cheese in many different kinds of food.

Substitutes For Fontinella Cheese

This cow milk product, despite being made originally in North America, can be used in a ton of different cuisines, from Italian, French, American, and plenty of others out there.

If you need a sauce or marinara that needs an extra creamy or cheesy taste to it, Fontinella is the cheese that you can call on.

But what if you’ve run out? Or you’re looking to use a recipe that asks for it, but you don’t like the taste of it? Are you stuck with your recipe, and have to call it quits?

Heck no! So long as you know what qualities you need to look for in a substitute, you’ll find that Fontinella cheese, while great for cooking, also has some pretty handily available alternatives that you can use.

And luckily for you, we cover those substitutes in this guide!

Qualities Of Fontinella Cheese

So, what key elements should you be looking for in a Fontinella cheese substitute? What makes Fontinella cheese a food that we love to eat?

Well, there are a few key qualities that it has that make it pretty unique. Fontinella is a semi-hard cheese, meaning that it has a firm, but somewhat soft feel to it.

It’s also known for its flavor that is similar to fontina (which it is often confused for), another Italian-style cheese. However, Fontinella has a milder flavor to it, with a creamy and nutty flavor to it.

While it is typically used as a substitute or replacement for Parmesan cheese, it’s also a very good cheese for slicing or grating up for pasta and pizza dishes, and even for putting in sandwiches.

So, with those qualities covered, let’s see how our substitutes stack up to it!

1. Provolone Cheese

Starting us off with perhaps the overall best substitute out there that you’ll find for Fontinella cheese, we have the ever-reliable provolone cheese.

Provolone, like Fontinella, is another cheese that is made from pasteurized cow milk, that is also best known for its mild flavor, meaning that it can be used in many similar ways that you would use Fontinella.

Whether it’s on sandwiches, pizzas, or as a seasoning like Parmesan, provolone can be an effective substitute for anything that you’d use Fontinella for.

Provolone is also a pretty common cheese to source, so you may find that it is easier to find than Fontinella cheese.

However, it’s worth noting that, while still mild, provolone cheese has a slightly sharper flavor to it, thanks to the long aging process that provolone goes through.

Overall, this is an excellent substitute for Fontinella recipes that need a cheese that can melt well into your recipes.

(We’re particularly big fans of provolone in a mac and cheese recipe!)

2. Asiago Cheese

Moving on to our next cheese, we have one that is renowned for its depth of flavor, and sharp taste sensation.

On the face of it, those qualities of asiago cheese make it sound pretty unsuitable for substituting Fontinella cheese.

However, You’ll still find that nutty flavor that Fontinella is loved for in asiago. Sure, it’s a little sharper, but not enough that you can’t taste the resemblance.

The overall texture of a good block of asiago can vary, too. Depending on the cheese you’re looking at, it can have slightly elastic qualities like fontina cheese, or be nice and crumbly, like Parmesan.

As you can imagine, this gives asiago cheese a plethora of cooking uses for whatever recipe you are working on, from pasta to marinara sauce.

So, while the flavor profile might be a little stronger in asiago, it’s still a very effective substitute for use in recipes, if you like its distinct taste.

3. Gouda Cheese

Now, for a cheese that has a very different character to it than many of the others that we’re covering, we have Gouda, possibly the most famous of Dutch cheeses.

Gouda, like the others that we’ve covered, is a cow-based dairy cheese, so it has a relatively mild flavor to it that bears some of the nutty qualities that we love about Fontinella, outside of perhaps a slightly less salty/briny aftertaste, and even a hint of sweetness to it.

However, the texture can be quite different from Fontinella, especially if you get it at specific age ranges.

Younger Gouda cheeses (less than 3 months old) will have a much firmer and crumblier texture to them, while Gouda that has been aging for more than 6 will have a stretchier, almost 

However, this cheese does still melt very well, so it’s still an effective substitute if you’re looking to throw this cheese on a pizza, burger, or sandwich.

4. Gruyère Cheese

Gruyère cheese is another great cheese to turn to if your pantry has run out of Fontinella cheese, particularly when it comes to flavor.

You’ll get that same mild nutty flavor that you’ll find in Fontinella, though you may find that same tanginess that you’d typically find in Fontinella missing.

However, the way that this cheese melts means that, while you still can use it in cooking, it’s going to produce some very different results.

The cheese crumbles in a way that is unlike many of the other, firmer cheeses that we’ve covered. Instead of pizza and pasta, this particular substitute works better in quiches and French onion soups.

Still, if you’re pressed for time and can’t find the other alternatives in this guide, you can do a lot worse than Gruyère!

5. Emmental Cheese

Emmental is an incredibly popular cheese that is eaten and loved around the world. But how is this hole-filled cheese a substitute for Fontinella?

Well, it certainly melts in a very similar way to Fontinella, becoming runny and gooey when it gets hot enough.

It should be no surprise that emmental is a very popular cheese to use in pizzas, pasta dishes, sandwiches, soups, and cheese platters.

If you need cheese for something, then emmental is usually a cheese that will work well for you!

However, while it’s great for cooking with, keep in mind that it’s got a noticeably milder flavor to it. That mildness is probably what allows it to work with so many other flavors, not overpowering them. 

6. Manchego Cheese

Finally, to round off this list, we have a cheese that can be difficult to source, but one that every cheese aficionado should try at least once, Manchego cheese.

While not the rarest cheese in the world, Manchego cheese is pretty difficult to find, especially when compared to the others we’ve covered like Emmental.

As a substitute for Fontinella, it has a completely different flavor profile.

Being made from goat’s cheese, it has a much stronger punch and aroma to it than Fontinella, along with its nutty flavor.

However, when it comes to using it in recipes, Manchego can be used in many similar dishes to Fontinella.

So, it’s not a perfect alternative. But it will do you well in a pinch.

Final Notes

So, as you can see, you have a few options for cheeses that can help you substitute Fontinella in a pinch.

Whether it’s the mild nutty flavor that you’re looking to replicate or the melty texture that is what you’re looking for.

However, it’s a testament to Fontinella that no cheese quite hits in the same way as it does.

About Maria Foster
Maria Foster
Maria Foster is a mother of 3 and she and her husband of 23 years share their home with 2 faithful dogs. Besides being CEO of the household and active in her community, Maria is the lead contributor to Food Champs and loves to try new food ideas and kitchen accessories to make easier and more delicious meals.
Maria Foster
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