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Gorgonzola cheese: history, development and characteristics

Merely illustrative image of gorgonzola cheese. Photo: Karolina Grabowska.

Although the real stories of the origin of Italian cheeses may not be very clear or lost in time, there is no doubt about the Italian passion for cuisine and the quality of its excellent cheeses, since they are among the most famous in the world. As the gorgonzola cheese, a blue cheese with a unique flavor.

As such,, to help you understand more about the gorgonzola cheese, we prepared today's article on the subject. He was interested to know more? So follow us right now!

History of gorgonzola cheese

Gorgonzola is an Italian cheese with blue and green veins originating in the Milan region, in Lombardy. Its origin is uncertain, but goes back to the end of the years 800. It seems that in ancient times cheese was called “Stracchino” (soft cheese), whose word comes from “Stracco”, that means “tired”.

History says that the city of Gorgonzola was an important stage for cow flocks during grazing, from where they grazed in winter to the mountains, where the grass remained fresh all year round.

During the trip, after they have walked for many days, the tired cows had to rest, so this town had to adopt the means to avoid losing milk and turn it into cheese.

Then they were kept in the natural caves of the Valassina valley, whose conditions were perfect for the development of blue mold, which gave rise to the term Stracchino di Gorgonzola.

But what is gorgonzola cheese?

The taste of gorgonzola comes from the introduction of a certain type of mold, Glaucum penicilium, which develops a pronounced and spicy flavor when aged.

Cheese is usually delicate, soft, creamy and with veins. It's ivory when you're young, then it gets darker with a bright ochre color characterized by green and blue stripes.

Or gorgonzola cheese is formed with a cylinder with a diameter of 25 the 30 Cm, with a height of 16 the 20 cm and a weight between 6 and 12 kg.

Development process

The process of drawing up the gorgonzola cheese hasn't changed since its origins, centuries ago. We can say that, thanks to the good production of fodder and the high hygiene of the stables in the, the milk used to produce gorgonzola is the basic premise for this important product.

The production of gorgonzola cheese it is from whole pasteurized cow's milk that is poured into the boiler at a temperature of approximately 30 °, then lactic acid bacteria are added to encourage coagulation, the curd is broken and placed on special plates to let the whey out.

After a few minutes, it is placed inside a mold wrapped in a cloth, in quantities of 14 and 15 kg.

This phase is important because, during the first 24 hours of its manufacture, the same process is repeated every 2 Hours. Then, is left to rest to allow the distillation of the serum.

Later, the salting process begins, above, below and on the sides. After three days, or maturation process Continues, at this point drilling occurs with large needles penetrating the metal, first on one side and then on the side surface that allows air to enter the mass to develop the cultures already grafted on the curd.

The air intake determines the ideal natural conditions for the development of Penicillium glaucum, which produces the characteristic blue and green veins that make gorgonzola unmatched.

According to the maturation time, two types of gorgonzola cheese are created:

  • Sweet Gorgonzola: approximately 30 the 50 Days.
  • Spicy Gorgonzola: from 90 the 110 Days.

Features of gorgonzola

The two versions of gorgonzola cheese that are produced have some features that differentiate them. These differences also define some specific foods and wines to be accompanied by.

Sweet Gorgonzola is creamy and soft with a special and characteristic taste, is slightly spicy. This version is ideal for eating with bread, salad dressings, pasta sauce or pizza.

Spicy gorgonzola has the harshest pasta, consistent and brittle, its flavor is more pronounced and stronger, due to longer maturation time.

This aged cheese can be eat alone or with bread, and it's delicious if sprinkled on honey, creating unique and contrasting flavors.

To eat, the gorgonzola should be removed from the refrigerator about half an hour before taking it to the table.

Nutritional information

Information on nutritional characteristics, properties and benefits of gorgonzola cheese are quite extensive.

Easily digestible, its content of minerals and vitamins (the, B1, B2, B6, B12, Pp) is too high. Provides an important source of proteins and fats.

Vitamin B5 or pantothenic acid, that is found in abundance in the gorgonzola cheese, makes this food very useful for fighting stress and migraines. This vitamin is also conducive to reducing excess cholesterol in the diet.

Merely illustrative image of gorgonzola cheese. Photo: Karolina Grabowska.
Merely illustrative image of gorgonzola cheese. Photo: Karolina Grabowska.

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