Gorgonzola cheese may seem intimidating to the uninitiated with its pungent smell and blue, moldy patches scattered throughout an ivory interior, but this cheese is among the most prized of all cheeses for a variety of reasons. People have been eating it since the 11th century and today, you can find gorgonzola in almost every grocery store and certainly in every artisan store or restaurant.
But what is gorgonzola exactly? Read on to find out.
What Is Gorgonzola Cheese?
This cheese gets its name from the fact that it was first created in Gorgonzola, Milan, in Italy. Today, however, this cheese can be produced anywhere in the world. Most gorgonzola still comes from Italy, especially northern Italy, but a large supply also comes from the United States.
This cheese is famous for its appearance, smell, and, of course, taste. It is a type of blue cheese. The majority of this cheese is ivory in color with blue or green veins running throughout. Its texture is very smooth and soft, much like cream, but its flavor is quite the opposite. Many find that its flavor is quite acidic and bold with notes of barnyard and grass.
Its aroma is similar. Many actually find the smell of gorgonzola to be putrid. But if you get past the smell and actually take a bite, you will find that the creamy texture and flavor of the cheese will balance out the strong aroma and add a certain charm to this cheese. Its age will also determine its flavor and smell.
Older types of gorgonzola tend to be much stronger than young variations of this cheese. But how is it made, you might ask?
How Is Gorgonzola Made?
The foundation of the cheese is made with whole cow’s milk. To this milk, Penicillium glaucum is added which is a particular strain of mold. As the mold spores take hold and the cheese enters the aging process, the whey will get removed.
The aging process for this cheese is very important and has to be done in a very specific way. In particular, as the cheese ages, the cheesemaker will insert several metal rods into the cheese and then remove them at a later time. Doing this allows the mold to penetrate deeper into the cheese. It also creates air pockets in the cheese which gives it a lighter quality.
Eventually, as the mold grows, it will grow into hyphae which are veins of mold. Gorgonzola only needs to be aged for about 4 months. Again, the age of the cheese greatly determines its flavor and texture. An older gorgonzola cheese will be firmer and bolder than a young cheese.
After the aging process, the cheese will be ready to eat. You can eat gorgonzola with all sorts of things, but it is always best to choose a food or drink that will balance out the cheese’s strong flavors. Many people enjoy drinking red wine with this cheese. The strength of the red wine will reel in the strength of the gorgonzola.
You can also melt this cheese into food that is generally bland like rice or noodles. Whatever the case, gorgonzola is a delicious cheese but certainly not for the faint of heart. To get your hands on some delicious, artisan cheese, click here and view your options.
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