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Gorgonzola Cheese



Gorgonzola Cheese is a cylindrical blue cheese made from full-fat, pasteurized cow's milk.

The cheese is made in various sizes. The minimum height is 13 cm; the diameter will be between 20 and 32 cm.

It has an inedible, rough pinkish-grey rind. Inside, the cheese is whitish or pale yellow with greenish-blue flecks and veins.

After pasteurization, the milk is let cool to 82 to 96 F (28 to 36 C.) A blue cheese mould, "Penicillium glaucum" is stirred in (most other blue cheeses use "Penicillium roqueforti"), along with calf's rennet to curdle the cheese. The curd is cut and drained, and packed into perforated cylindrical moulds. The cheese is turned out of the mould, and stamped at either end with a mark identifying the dairy.

The cheese is then salted, and let stand for several days at 64 to 75 F (18 to 24 C.)

The cheeses are then moved into controlled storage areas for aging at a temperature between 35 to 44 F (2 to 7 C.) (This aging used to be done in caves.)

Aging periods vary based on size of the cheese:
  • Small wheel, 13 to 17 1/2 pounds (6 to 8 kg), aged a minimum of 60 days. Tangy.
  • Medium wheel, 20 to 26 1/2 pounds (9 to 12 kg), aged a minimum of 80 days. Tangy.
  • Large wheel, 22 to 28 1/2 pounds (10 to 13kg), aged a minimum of 50 days. Mild.

During aging, holes are poked several times in the cheese to allow air to enter so the blue mould can develop.

When the cheese is aged, and has passed inspection, it is wrapped in aluminum foil for shipping, and sold on.

Gorgonzola is PDO protected in the EU. It can only be made in the Piedmont provinces of Alessandria (specific towns), Novara (including Verbano-Cusio-Ossola), Vercelli and Biella, Cuneo and Casale Monferrato, and in Lombardy (in the provinces of Bergamo, Brescia, Como, Cremona, Milan (including Lecco, Lodi and Monza), Pavia and Varsese.)

The tangier versions are called Gorgonzola Picante (aka Gorgonzola naturale, Gorgonzola stagionata or "Mountain Gorgonzola."

The mild version is called Gorgonzola Dolce. It is also creamier.

Cooking Tips

Gorgonzola becomes very mild and sweet when cooked.

Substitutes

Any other blue cheese, though some are stronger and some are milder than Gorgonzola.

Nutrition

About 48 to 50% butterfat.


Equivalents

2 oz = 50g = about 1/4 cup

Storage Hints

Gorgonzola can be frozen. After freezing, though, it is best used for cooking or in salads, as it will probably become crumbly.


History Notes

The usual historical hyperbole that swirls about other European cheeses also applies to Gorgonzola. Some people date it back to the 11th century, and on a good day, even back as far as 870 AD. A few even credit it to the Romans.

Language Notes

Named after the village of Gorgonzola which was north of Milan (in Piedmont, Northern Italy.) The village of Gorgonzola has now been absorbed into Milan.


Gorgonzola Cheese wasn't always called Gorgonzola, however: for the past several hundred years, the cheese was called "stracchino verde." The name Gorgonzola came into force by law on 30 October 1955.

Sources

Council Regulation (EC) No 510/2006. EC No: IT/PDO/117/0010/12.4.2002. Gorgonzola. Amendment #: (2008/C 111/17). Published in: Official Journal of the European Union. 6.5.2008. C 111 / 51 - 55.

See also:

Blue Cheeses

Beenleigh Blue Cheese; Blackstick's Velvet Cheese; Bleu Bénédictin Cheese; Bleu d'Auvergne; Bleu d'Causses; Bleu de Basque; Bleu de Bresse; Bleu de Gex; Bleu de Termignon; Blue Cheese; Blue Wensleydale; Buffalo Blue Cheese; Buxton Blue Cheese; Byland Blue Cheese; Cabrales Blue Cheese; Cambozola Cheese; Canterbury Blue Cheese; Caradon Blue Cheese; Cashel Blue Cheese; Colston Bassett Stilton Cheese; Cornish Blue Cheese; Crème de Saint Agur Cheese; Danish Blue Cheese; Devon Blue Cheese; Dolcelatte; Dorset Blue Vinney; Dunsyre Blue Cheese; Ermite Cheese; Exmoor Blue Cheese; Fourme d'Ambert Cheese; Fourme de Montbrison Cheese; Gorgonzola Cheese; Guler Cheese; Harbourne Blue Cheese; Jindi Deluxe Blue Cheese; Lanark Blue Cheese; Lancashire Blue Cheese; Maytag Blue Cheese; Mrs Bells Blue Cheese; Oxford Blue Cheese; Penicillium Glaucum; Penicillium Roqueforti; Point Reyes Blue Cheese; Roaring Forties Blue Cheese; Roquefort Cheese; Saint Agur Cheese; Shropshire Blue; Somerset Blue Cheese; Stilton; Strathdon Blue Cheese; Troo Bloo You Cheese; Valdeón Cheese

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Also called:

Stracchino Verde; Gorgonzola, Gorgonzola stagionata, Stracchino di Gorgonzola, Stracchino verde (Italian)

Citation

Oulton, Randal. "Gorgonzola Cheese." CooksInfo.com. Published 08 September 2002; revised 15 December 2010. Web. Accessed 11/17/2017. <http://www.cooksinfo.com/gorgonzola-cheese>.

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