Food Lover’s Companion describes mascarpone as a buttery-rich double-cream to triple-cream cheese made from cow’s milk.  It originated around 1600 in Lombardy of North Italy Southwest of Milan.  Some say the name came from “mas que bueno” (Spanish for “better than good”) when Spain ruled Italy. 

Mascarpone is  ivory colored, soft and delicate, and ranges in texture from that of a light clotted cream to that of room-temperature butter.  It is a naturally sweet, yet surprisingly light, soft cheese.  

You are most likely to run across mascarpone in the Italian cake Tiramisu.  In Italy, a favorite preparation mixes the cheese with anchovies, mustard and spices and spreads it on bread.  It is most often served with little embellishment other than being topped with fruit.

Belgioioso Cheese Inc. suggests the following serving ideas:

– Combine mascarpone with a sweet liqueur.  Place with alternating layers of fresh fruit in parfait glasses.

– Mix mascarpone with pure maple syrup and spread onto piping hot French toast – garnish with fresh berries.

– Serve mascarpone with radishes and a fruity ale beer.

– Combine mascarpone with fresh herbs or vegetables such as basil, spinach, red or yellow peppers, or sun-dried tomatoes.  Mix with hot pasta or rice and serve.

– Mix mascarpone with gorgonzola.  Thinly spread mixture onto slices of prosciutto.  Roll onto breadsticks, pear or apple slices, or zucchini, cucumber and celery sticks.

#191200     Mascarpone Cheese          12/1 #

#191250     Mascarpone Cheese           4/5#

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