Mascarpone is a soft Italian acid-set cream cheese. 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 milk, mascarpone is made from cream.

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

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