Mascarpone is an Italian cream cheese coagulated by the addition of certain acidic substances such as lemon juice, vinegar or citric acid. Mascarpone originated in the area between Lodi and Abbiategrasso, Italy, southwest of Milan, probably in the late 16th or early 17th century. The name is popularly held to derive from mascarpa, an unrelated milk product made from the whey of stracchino (a young, barely aged cheese).
Mascarpone offers a compact, easy to spread, supple texture, pearly white in color, with a sweet, slightly sour flavor similar to crème fraîche.
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