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Gorgonzola cheese

Production AreaItaly
Fat contentapprox. ??%
Protein contentapprox. ??%
Dimensions/weight??cm x ??cm thick/??-??kg
Aging time3 - 4 months
CertificationDOC (In Italy); PDO (In the EU)

Gorgonzola is a blue-veined Italian cheese, made from unskimmed cow's milk, buttery and firm, crumbly and quite salty, with a 'bite' from its blue veining. It has been made since the early Middle Ages, but only became marbled with greenish-blue mold in the eleventh century. It is frequently used in Italian cooking.

Gorgonzola is made in the regions of Piedmont and Lombardy from whole pasteurized cows milk to which is added the bacteria, Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus along with the mold Penicillium glaucum. Recently Penicillium roqueforti has begun being used to make Gorgonzola, besides its use in Roquefort cheese. It is ripened for three to four months and usually sold wrapped in foil.

Gorgonzola is usually eaten as a dessert cheese, but there are some local culinary specialities. It may be melted into a risotto in the final stage of cooking, for instance.

Within the European Union, Gorgonzola has been given a Protected Designation of Origin status. In Italy, gorgonzola is one of only three Italian cheeses that qualifies to be classified as DOC (Denominazione di Origine Controllata).

Today by law the zone of production includes only a defined area. What was once the village of Gorgonzola, not far from Milan, is being swallowed up in suburbia. Most Gorgonzola is actually produced in Novara, but the DOC zone also includes the provinces of Bergamo, Brescia, Como, Cremona, Cuneo, Milan, Pavia, and Vercelli, as well as the zone of Casale Monferrato.

See also: List of cheeses, Italian cheeses, cheese recipes