One of the world's oldest blue cheeses comes from Lombardia and Piemonte.
Gorgonzola gets its name from a town outside of Milan
Raise your hand if you love the best blue cheese in the world. How delicious Gorgonzola is! Of course, it is made in Italy. Made from cow's milk, Gorgonzola - with its signature blue veins - gets its name from a town outside of Milan. Gorgonzola, indeed, is produced in two Italian regions: Lombardia and Piemonte, both in the North of the country. It has been produced since the late 800s A.D. Here is what the Consortium for the Protection of the Gorgonzola Cheese website says: "The town of Gorgonzola remained the most famous place, although it was not the main production or trade center for various centuries. In fact, the real Gorgonzola's first name was "stracchino di Gorgonzola," later better defined with the synonym "green stracchino." In this context, this cheese was certainly produced with autumn milking when cows returned from mountain pastures. Gorgonzola constantly spread in both Lombardy and Piedmont regions, though slowly if compared with other cheeses: Pavia and Novara joined Milan and Como areas in the production of Gorgonzola".
Watch out for the label!
Usually, Gorgonzola takes until four months to be perfect. It can be labeled Gorgonzola after a minimum of 50 days spent aging. There are two types of cheese: Gorgonzola Dolce (Sweet) and Gorgonzola Piccante (Spicy). When Gorgonzola is young, it is very soft and velvety; the taste is more robust and sharper when it ages. Not all blue cheeses are real Gorgonzola! Do not confuse Gorgonzola with other popular cheeses like Cabrales (Spain), Danish blue (Denmark), Roquefort (France), or Stilton (England). You should always pay close attention to the label. First, Gorgonzola must be produced in Piedmont or Lombardy to be genuine. If the cheese is authentic Italian Gorgonzola, you will find the label D.O.P., or Denominazione di Origine Protetta (Protected Designation of Origin) on the package. If you do not find the D.O.P. stamp, it is not authentic Gorgonzola.
How to enjoy Gorgonzola
Gorgonzola pairs well with many different ingredients: fruits, vegetables, mustard, jam, honey, also chocolate. Classic pairings include mascarpone cheese with a walnut garnish. This cheese is amazing with pasta. Gorgonzola is perfect for your risottos. One example is the famous risotto with Gorgonzola, walnuts and pears.Try Gorgonzola with raw vegetables like celery, cherry tomatoes, peppers, and radishes. You can add it to your salads. Gorgonzola goes well also with cooked vegetables like potatoes, broccoli, and zucchini. A perfect ingredient to pair with Gorgonzola is a fruit; it can be fresh (pears, figs, apples, kiwis, strawberries) or dried.