A soft, white, fresh, vegetarian, cream cheese from the Lombardy region of northern Italy. In fact, it is not cheese at all, but rather the result of a culture being added to the cream skimmed off the milk, used in the production of Parmesan. It is, however, described as a curd cheese, although it is made in much the same way as yogurt. To make Mascarporne cheese tartaric acid (natural vegetable acid derived from the seed of the tamarind tree) is needed. After the culture has been added, the cream is gently heated, then allowed to mature and thicken. This whitish to straw-yellow, creamy, mild fresh cheese is compact, but supple and spreadable and it is added to famous Italian desserts, sometimes accompanied by cognac. Frequently it is used for the preparation of certain dishes and sauces. It takes only a few days to ripen and has a fat content of 75 per cent.