There's much more to mascarpone than tiramisu. Read up below on everything you need to know about this versatile, indulgent Italian cream.
What You Should Know About Mascarpone
In Italy, mascarpone is also called "formaggio di lusso", or "luxury cheese". And anyone who has ever had real tiramisu can confirm this moniker's accuracy: mascarpone is as decadent as cheese comes.
The secret to perfect mascarpone's beautiful creamy consistency relies on a complicated production process. The cream is first skimmed off the top off cow's milk, after which it's boiled at 200°. During the cooking process, it's naturally thickened with tartaric or citric acid, before it's dranked thoroughly two times. The result is authentic mascarpone, a beautifully rich double cream cheese made up of about 50% fat.
Mascarpone originates in the Italian town on Lodi, in the Lombardy province. Today, mascarpone is produced all over the world.
Mascarpone tastes very creamy and slightly acidic.
How Healthy is Mascarpone?
With almost 50% fat and 138 milligrams of cholesterol per 11 gram serving, mascarpone is definitely not a healthy food. In fact, it should not be eaten if you're watching your weight or cholesterol. If you're not, however, mascarpone can be indulged in every once in a while without issue. And, on the bright side, it's a great source of protein and calcium.
|mascarpone NUTRITIONAL INFO (100 g(|
Shopping and Cooking Tips
You can find mascarpone in the refrigerated section with dairy products at any large supermarket. Some stores will also carry lower-fat mascarpones, with around 30% fat contents, which all in all is still very high.
Like all fresh cheeses without preservatives, mascarpone spoils rather quickly after opening. Make sure to store it in the coldest part of your refrigerator and consume it as soon as possible.
What to Make With Mascarpone
The most classic usage of mascarpone is in the delicious, popular Italian dessert tiramisu. However this creamy cheese also tastes wonderful as a less time-intensive dessert, eaten simply with some fresh berries, powdered sugar and a bit of cocoa powder, if you like. In fact, after tiramisu, mascarpone is most well-known as an excellent addition to fruit-based desserts. It goes beautifully in fruity cakes, especially with berries, and as a base for homemade ice cream.
Mascarpone also makes an excellent ingredient in savory recipes, easily used as a substitute for cream, crème fraiche or crème double, especially in hearty soups and sauces. Mascarpone is an especially valuable ingredient as it doesn't curdle due to its high fat content, instead imbuing cooking dishes with a delicious creaminess and rich consistency.