Mascarpone is one of the foods that make the food police quiver and stop dead in their tracks. It is a fresh, very rich cow’s milk cheese - double or triple cream (60% to 75% milk fat) - that is sold in teensy little containers in this country. Its texture resembles a sticky pudding and it is the color of cream.

You are most likely to run across mascarpone in the Italian cake Tiramisù. In Italy, a favorite preparation is savory, mixing the cheese with anchovies, mustard, and spices and spreading it on bread. But it is often just served with fruit, or it can be mixed with cocoa or coffee.

There are all kinds of interesting recipes available online that include mascarpone - both sweet and savory.

The biggest problem with mascarpone is that most people (even prominent people who have their own television cooking shows) pronounce it as if the r is before the s instead of in front of the p. These may well be the very same people who pronounce nuclear nuk-u-ler. And even when you discreetly point it out to them, they don’t apologize or make the slightest effort to change. What is with those people?

Mascarpone is available in many specialty shops, an increasing number of grocery stores, and online.