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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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