Thursday, June 9, 2011

Cheese: Gorgonzola

Gorgonzola is a type of blue cheese usually made from pasteurized or unpasteurized cow's milk, but some is also made from goat's milk (the goat milk version is firm and salty). It gets its name from the village of Gorgonzola in Italy, near Milan. Under Italian law it can only be produced in the northern Italian regions of Piedmont and Lombardy. A bacteria is added with spores of the mold Penicillium. The whey is removed during curdling and the remainder is aged at low temperatures. After about four weeks of aging, copper needles are inserted, then removed, creating air channels for mold to grow and causing even veining. Gorgonzola is usually aged three to four months and gets firmer with age. It can range in color from white to straw-yellow and has green or bluish-green mold veining. It varies, depending on age, from young and sweet, called "dolce," to harder, sharper, and more intense as it gets older, known as "naturale," "picante" or "Mountain Gorgonzola." It is one of the 1001 Foods You Must Taste Before You Die. 1001 suggests that it goes particularly well with walnuts, pasta (especially in Italy), spinach and arugula. When we visited Italy years ago, we ate a meal at our hotel near the Outer Ring Road of Rome and Judy got gnocchi with Gorgonzola. I have heard her mention that dish many times over the years as one of her particular favorites. We quite often buy crumbled Gorgonzola which we use in salads, and it is quite solid. I have a picture of some Gorgonzola I bought at Whole Foods 
which is just the opposite, very moist and mushy. I assume it must be a young, "dolce" Gorgonzola. 
More recently, we got some crumbly Gorgonzola from Trader Joe's, 
aged for 90 days. We were able to eat it alongside Bleu d'Auvergne. Comparatively, the Gorgonzola was very mild and hardley even seemed bluey. 
It was also much harder, 
although the Gorgonzola we got from Whole Foods was obviously quite moist. The crumbly Gorgonzola would be very good in a salad, but it is not among my favorite blue cheeses. 

1 comment:

  1. This is one of the cheeses that Troy craves here in Kosovo. They have a good, not too hard, not too soft, very tangy version of it at a restaurant in downtown Pristina called the "Central Room." - Maybe when you visit during your travels someday.