Mascarpone (/ˌmæskɑːrˈpn, -ni/, US also /ˌmɑːsk-/, Italian: [maskarˈpoːne]) is a soft Italian acid-set cream cheese.[1][2][3] It is recognized in Italy as a prodotto agroalimentare tradizionale (PAT) ("traditional agri-food product").[4]

Country of originItaly
Source of milkCow
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Outside Italy, mascarpone is sometimes mispronounced as "marscapone", even by food professionals.[5][6][7]

Production process

After denaturation of the cream, the whey is removed without pressing or aging. Mascarpone may also be made using cream and the residual tartaric acid from the bottom or sides of barreled wine.

The traditional method is to use three tablespoons of lemon juice per pint of heated heavy cream. The cream is allowed to cool to room temperature before it is poured into a cheesecloth-lined colander, set into a shallow pan or dish, and chilled and strained for one to two days.[8]


Mascarpone originated in the Italian region of Lombardy in the area between Lodi and Abbiategrasso south of Milan, probably in the late 16th or early 17th century. Popularly, the name is held to derive from mascarpa, an unrelated milk product made from the whey of stracchino (a young, barely aged cheese), or from mascarpia, a word in the local dialect for ricotta. Unlike ricotta, which is made from whey, mascarpone is made from cream.


Mascarpone is milky-white in colour and is easy to spread.[9] It is used in various Lombardy dishes and is considered a specialty in the region.[10]

Mascarpone is one of the main ingredients in tiramisu.[11] Sometimes it is used instead of, or along with, butter or Parmesan cheese to thicken and enrich risotto.[12] Mascarpone also is used in cheesecake recipes.[13][14]

See also


  1. "Mascarpone Artigianale" (in Italian). Archived from the original on 2 April 2012. Retrieved 22 September 2011.
  2. Turismo Provincia di Lodi (2004). "Mascarpone" (in Italian). Retrieved 22 September 2011.
  3. Tessa Buratto (2010). "Mastering Mascarpone: What it takes to make a perfect batch of Mascarpone Cheese". San Luis Obispo, CA. Retrieved 8 April 2015.
  4. Regione Lombardia. "Elenco dei prodotti agroalimentari tradizionali della Regione Lombardia – Quinta revisione" (in Italian). p. 6. Retrieved 22 September 2011.
  5. Shilcutt, Katharine (2011-06-30). "20 More Commonly Mispronounced Food Words". Houston Press. Houston Press. Retrieved 2021-05-08. Other mispronunciations I often hear: Mascarpone pronounced as "mars-capone.
  6. Mahe, George (2020-04-03). "Ask George: Have you ever compiled a list of mispronounced foods?". St. Louis Magazine. St. Louis Magazine. Retrieved 2021-05-08. Mascarpone: MASS-car-pohn. There is no "r" in that first syllable.
  7. Bilyeu, Mary (2019-05-08). "Macarons, macaroons, what's the difference? A lot". Toledo Blade. Toledo Blade. Retrieved 2021-05-08. But regardless of whether their producers choose to be entertainers, educators, or a mishmash-up of both, it irritates me beyond my usually verbose ability to spew words that, much of the time, they disseminate misinformation. (Food Network, my gaze is particularly focused upon you.) For example, let's address the issue of mascarpone, a soft Italian cream cheese. The vast majority of the time, I hear it pronounced mars-kah-POHN.
  8. David B. Fankhauser. "Making Mascarpone at Home". U.C. Clermont College-Batavia, OH. Archived from the original on 2007-04-09.
  9. Lidia Matticchio Bastianich (27 October 2015). Lidia's Mastering the Art of Italian Cuisine: Everything You Need to Know to be a Great Italian Cook. Appetite by Random House. pp. 107–. ISBN 978-0-449-01623-7.
  10. Luigi Veronelli (23 October 2012). Food of North Italy: Authentic Recipes from Piedmont, Lombardy, and Valle d'Aosta. Tuttle Publishing. pp. 31–. ISBN 978-1-4629-0976-6.
  11. Jason Atherton (18 June 2015). Social Sweets. Bloomsbury Publishing. pp. 87–. ISBN 978-1-4729-2080-5.
  12. Heston Blumenthal (2007). Further Adventures in Search of Perfection: Reinventing Kitchen Classics. Bloomsbury. pp. 140–. ISBN 978-0-7475-9405-5.
  13. Barbara Fairchild (14 September 2010). Bon Appetit Desserts: The Cookbook for All Things Sweet and Wonderful. Andrews McMeel Publishing. pp. 191–. ISBN 978-1-4494-0200-6.
  14. Victoria Wise (3 December 2004). The Pressure Cooker Gourmet: 225 Recipes for Great-Tasting, Long-Simmered Flavors in Just Minutes. Harvard Common Press. pp. 329–. ISBN 978-1-55832-201-1.
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