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The 5 Best Substitutes for Fontinella Cheese

Have you ever wondered what secrets lie behind the tantalizing taste of Fontinella Cheese?

A staple in many Italian and Mediterranean dishes, this flavor-rich cheese is sure to bring a unique twist to your recipes.

But what if you can’t find it or run out? Don’t worry; there are ways to work around using Fontinella Cheese.

Not only will we guide you on how to cook and use it, but we’ll also tell you about the five best substitutes for it that take the guesswork out of meal planning.

Take a look and learn how you can mix up your meals with Fontinella Cheese.

What is Fontinella Cheese?

Fontinella cheese is a truly enigmatic cheese that has perplexed many, leaving them wondering just what it is and why it holds such a special place in the hearts of so many.

Fontinella cheese is a semi-hard cow’s milk cheese coated with olive oil and spices.

Its unique flavor derives from being aged for about three months in cellars with controlled temperatures, where the salt and water content of the air can greatly impact the flavor of the cheese.

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Those who have tasted Fontinella often describe its taste as nutty, sharp, and slightly salty while having almost a crumbly texture that simply melts in your mouth.

One way to enjoy this delicious Italian treat is by slicing thin pieces to make some amazing grilled paninis or even pairing it with fresh fruits as an appetizer on a charcuterie board — something sure to be remembered.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Fontinella Cheese

If you’ve ever encountered Fontinella cheese, you know it’s quite unique.

Its nutty, sharp taste makes it a favorite among cheese lovers.

Unfortunately, due to its rareness and limited production, you may find yourself needing an alternative.

But that doesn’t mean your dish has to suffer; there are plenty of substitutes out there that can enhance your recipe without sacrificing taste.

Here are the five best substitutes for Fontinella cheese that will still give your dish a delectable punch:

1 – Provolone Cheese

Puzzled about provolone cheese? Seemingly similar to other Italian cheeses like Fontina, the taste, and texture of this aged cow’s milk cheese are totally distinct.

The semi-soft provolone sits somewhere between fresh mozzarella and hard Parmigiano Reggiano on the cheese spectrum; it is crumbly yet somewhat stringy, slightly smoky in flavor, and also fruity depending on how long it has been aged.

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To add a unique flavor to that lasagna recipe you’ve been longing to make but can’t find Fontinella cheese? Go ahead and switch it out for provolone.

Just make sure you adjust the cooking time accordingly, as this cheese cooks more quicker.

2 – Asiago Cheese

Asiago cheese is an Italian delicacy known for its plethora of uses in countless recipes and displays of culinary talent – yet it confounds many with its subtle allure.

It has a pleasant, semi-firm texture that melts when brought to room temperature but softens further as it melts into a decadent fondue or cheesy cream sauce.

This is ideally complemented by a pleasantly piquant flavor that tantalizes the taste buds and elevates any dish it touches.

For those looking to use Fontinella cheese instead, the strong saltiness of the Asiago may be substituted for the tartness of Fontinella in equal parts.

The result may not quite replicate the signature character on which Asiago prides itself, but it will certainly do justice to any recipe one might desire.

3 – Gouda Cheese

Gouda cheese is an intriguing component of any cheese platter.

Made from cow’s milk, it has a distinctive character typical to Dutch cheeses.

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It often comes in large rounds of semi-hard cheese with a relatively mild flavor.

Its texture varies from slightly crumbly and firm at younger ages to soggier and stretchy when aged for more than six months.

One can substitute Gouda for the Italian Fontinella cheese, which has similar characteristics with a slightly nutty flavor when aged; however, if the characteristic briny character of Fontinella is desired, adding small amounts of salt to the Gouda can bring forth the taste and texture that are highly sought after.

4 – Gruyere Cheese

Gruyere cheese is a truly fascinating delicacy, with origins dating back hundreds of years to the Swiss-French area of Switzerland known as Gruyère.

Famed for its distinctive taste and texture, Gruyere cheese is a hard, ivory-colored cheese that is matured for up to 12 months before it reaches its full flavor potential.

With its robust nutty flavor and compact texture that almost melts in your mouth, it adds complexity to any dish it’s served with.

If you’re looking to substitute Fontinella, consider using Gruyere—it has a tangier aftertaste and will give your recipes some depth without the sharpness of Fontinella.

Not only that, but Gruyere provides an excellent mild flavor when melted, making it a great addition to both savory and sweet dishes alike.

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5 – Manchego Cheese

Manchego cheese is a Spanish delight that packs an intense punch of flavor.

The hard cheese is traditionally made from sheep’s milk and aged for at least sixty days, giving it a distinct nutty, sharp taste.

It has a texture that is surprisingly creamy, so much so that slices of it can be cut with a spoon blade.

It’s a great substitute for the harder-to-find Fontinella cheese in recipes or as an appetizer.

Shave or cube some Manchego atop salads or enjoy melted over roasted vegetables for an added blast of umami – you won’t regret it.


In conclusion, when searching for a substitute for Fontinella cheese, look no further than the five amazing options detailed above.

Provolone, Asiago, Gouda, Gruyere, and Manchego all possess unique flavors and textures that will take your recipes to the next level.

Don’t let lack of access to Fontinella stand in your way – these five kinds of cheese can take its place and still deliver an incredible flavor.

Yield: 1 Serving

The 5 Best Substitutes for Fontinella Cheese

The 5 Best Substitutes for Fontinella Cheese
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes


  • Provolone Cheese
  • Asiago Cheese
  • Gouda Cheese
  • Gruyere Cheese
  • Manchego Cheese


  1. Pick your favorite substitute from the list above.Follow cooking directions for your selected substitute with the proper ratio of ingredients.
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