Because of its superior meltability, Fontina is known as a great cooking cheese, and has made mouths water on top of pizzas, french onion soup, pastas, or in fondues. But it's also a great snacking cheese - and when paired with apples, mushrooms, ham or salami and crusty bread, can create some delicious taste combinations. Young Fontina has a nutty, buttery flavor, with a velvety texture. As it ages, it develops a mellower blend of fruits and nuts, with a slightly drier texture. Any age, Fontina will reveal an earthy flavor. Some even say you can almost taste the rich pasture in which the cows that yield the milk for Fontina graze. Fontina originated in the Italian village of Fontinaz, at the base of Mont Fontin. It can be traced back to the 13th century, and was a favorite cheese of the Duke of Savoy.