is a veined Italian blue cheese, made from unskimmed cow's
and/or goat's milk. It can be buttery or firm, crumbly and quite
salty, with a 'bite' from its blue veining.
Gorgonzola has reportedly been
produced in the town of the same name since AD 879, acquiring
its greenish-blue marbling in the eleventh century. However, the
town's claim of geographical origin is disputed by other
Today it is mainly produced in
the northern Italian regions of Piedmont and Lombardy. Whole
cow's milk is used, to which starter bacteria is added along
with spores of the mold Penicillium glaucum; Penicillium
roqueforti, used in Roquefort cheese, may also be used. The whey
is then removed during curdling, and the result aged at low
During the aging process metal rods are quickly
inserted and removed, creating air channels that allow the mold
spores to grow into hyphae and cause the cheese's characteristic
veining. Gorgonzola is typically aged for three to four months.
The length of the aging process determines the consistency of
the cheese, which gets firmer as it ripens.
Under Italian law Gorgonzola enjoys Protected Geographical
Status. Termed DOC in Italy, this means that it can only be
produced in the provinces of Novara, Bergamo, Brescia, Como,
Cremona, Cuneo, Lecco, Lodi, Milan, Pavia, Varese,
Verbano-Cusio-Ossola, and Vercelli, as well as a number of
comuni in the area of Casale Monferrato (province of
Gorgonzola made with goat's milk is firm and salty. It is
made usually in the Prealpi area of Piedmont and Lombardy,
especially in the provinces of Lecco and Alessandria.
Gorgonzola may be eaten in
many ways. It may be melted into a risotto in the final stage of
cooking, or served alongside polenta. Pasta with gorgonzola is a
dish appreciated almost everywhere in Italy by gorgonzola
lovers; usually gorgonzola goes on short pasta, such as penne,
mezze maniche, or sedani, not with spaghetti or linguine.
Because of its distinctive flavor, it is frequently offered as
pizza topping. Combined with other soft cheeses it is an
ingredient of pizza ai quattro formaggi (four cheeses pizza).