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mascarpone

Pronunciation: [mah-skar-POH-nay]

Categories: Cheese, Italian

Hailing from Italy's Lombardy region, mascarpone is a buttery-rich double-cream to triple-cream cow's-milk cheese. (Technically it's not cheese but rather curdled cream because citric or tartaric acid is used rather than rennet.). It's ivory-colored, soft and delicate, and ranges in texture from that of a light clotted cream to that of room-temperature butter. It's versatile enough to be blended with other flavors and is sometimes sold sweetened with fruit. In Italy's Friuli region a favorite blend is mascarpone mixed with anchovies, mustard and spices. But in truth, this delicately flavored cheese needs little embellishment other than being topped with fruit.