Gorgonzola is among the most renowned cheeses in Italy. It’s produced with whole cow’s milk with the addition of lactic acid bacteria and selected moulds, to obtain its particular herbs veining effect and typical aroma.
The Gorgonzola final taste depends on the production technique and seasoning and can be sweeter or spicier.
Let’s see how it is made in detail.
Where it is made
Gorgonzola DOP is produced in the provinces of Bergamo, Biella, Brescia, Como, Cremona, Cuneo, Lecco, Lodi, Milan, Novara, Pavia, Varese, Verbania, Vercelli and in 31 other municipalities within the province of Alessandria.
It’s a traditional cheese with a legendary origin. One of the many legends tells Gorgonzola was invented by a lovesick cheese maker, who went to meet his lover, and forgot the curd in a cauldron over night only to mix it up on the following morning, resulting in a brand new product.
How it is made
Also called the “green Stracchino”, it’s made in two versions, one artisan and limited, the so-called “double paste”, mixing the evening’s curd with that of the morning. The curd of the evening is left hanging on a trestle for draining through the night. This way it naturally gets the fungal spores giving its classic marbling. The following day, the mixture is moulded to the required shape, alternating with fresh pasta, made with the morning milking. Then it undergoes maturation and needling, to allow the development of moulds.
Its final flavour is strong and spicy.
The second version is the “single paste” processing method, resulting in a sweeter and widespread kind of Gorgonzola. It is made with milk from a single milking, adding enzymes, rennet and penicillin spores. The shape is pierced with large metal needles to allow the creation of typical bluish-green marbling. Maturation, which once took place in natural caves, must be made in climate-controlled environment.
How to taste the Gorgonzola in the right way
Before eating, leave the Gorgonzola at room temperature for at least 30 minutes to enhance its flavour and characteristics. Gorgonzola is very versatile in cooking preparations, and ideal to prepare sauces and filling creams.
The strong personality of this cheese inevitably influences also the pairing wines: sweet or spicy?
The spicy Gorgonzola requires a well-structured, warm, generous and aged red wine, like Barolo, Barbaresco, Carema, Gattinara, Ghemme, Chianti Classico, Amarone, Brunello di Montalcino, Cabernet, etc.
We also suggest a pairing with dessert wines: a fortified Moscato Passito or a virgin Marsala but also Gambellara Recioto and Ramandolo are excellent.
The sweet Gorgonzola goes well with red or white soft and flavoured wines. Among whites, the excellent Riesling, Pinot Blanc, Orvieto Classico, the Frascati Sup, Dry Malvasia, Gavi; among the rosé, Chiaretto del Garda, Lagrein Kretzer.
And red wines in general: Valtellina Superiore, Sassella, Dolcetto, slightly sparkling Barbera, Chianti Classico, Teroldego, Merlot Triveneto, Sangiovese di Romagna.