Gorgonzola

Savory and distinctive, Gorgonzola pairs beautifully with pears, apples, peaches and red wines. For optimal flavor and creaminess, remove from the refrigerator at least half an hour before serving.

Considered one of Italy's greatest, this cow's milk cheese is known for its distinctive bluish-green veins and savory, pungent flavor. Rich and creamy when young, and quite strong and crumbly when aged, Gorgonzola pairs beautifully with pears, apples, peaches and hearty red wines. It's also a favorite for crumbling over salads and melting over potatoes.

History

In 1951, Italy's Stresa Convention issued new law to regulate original and typical products. Gorgonzola (along with Parmesan and Roquefort) became classified as a DOC (Denominazione di Origine Controllata) product, which means the designated origins of the cheese are controlled. By law and tradition, only milk from herds bred in defined provinces of Piedmont and Lombardy may be used in the production of Gorgonzola.

Varieties

Authentic Italian Gorgonzola comes in two varieties. The younger Dolce Gorgonzola is slightly piquant and soft and creamy in texture. As it ages, the cheese becomes Gorgonzola Piccante (sometimes called Naturale or Mountain). This cheese has more mold, making it quite robust, firm and crumbly.

Buying Tips

It's best to buy Gorgonzola in small quantities. Because the cheese is a "live" product, it is continuously maturing. To ensure you're buying authentic Italian Gorgonzola, look for foil-wrapped wedges marked with a lower-case "g."

Storage Tips

Once home, remove any crust, wrap the cheese in foil and refrigerate in an airtight container.

Note: If you leave Gorgonzola in the refrigerator too long, it may become too strong to eat out of hand. Instead of throwing the cheese away, mix it with cream, butter or other ingredients to create delicious sauces or fillings.

Serving Tips

• For the best flavor, take Gorgonzola out of the refrigerator at least half an hour before serving.

• Serve as a table cheese with crackers, pears, apples, nuts and raisins.

• Slice and drizzle with honey.

• Melt into a fondue.

• Make a sauce to serve with pasta, vegetables, chicken or beef.

• Pair Gorgonzola Dolce with soft wines such as Riesling, Pino Bianco and Merlot.

• Pair Gorgonzola Piccante with aged red wines such as Barolo and Chian
by BigOven editorial team
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