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Gorgonzola is a straw-white soft cheese known for two varieties: “dolce” (sweet) and “piccante” (savory). The sweet version comprises 90 percent of production, featuring a creamy texture and a mildly spicy taste. The "piccante" variety has more blue veins, a thicker and crumblier texture, and a stronger flavor due to a longer "baking" period.

A Lombardy legend tells of Gorgonzola's accidental discovery by a cheese maker who left curds open overnight. To hide his mistake, he mixed fresh curds with the old the next day. Months later, he found the cheese invaded by a bluish mold but was pleasantly surprised by its delicious taste. This serendipitous finding initiated the process known as "erborinatura," named after the Lombardy dialect word for parsley, "erburin," which reflects the cheese's greenish streaks.

Gorgonzola's unique characteristics are due to using two curds, creating folds and crannies that foster mold growth. This results in the cheese's distinctive bluish-green marbling and robust flavor. Production today adheres to strict guidelines, including a specific aging process involving a "baking" period at 68°F and regular turning and piercing of the cheese to encourage mold development. After this process, the cheese is wrapped in aluminum foil sheets assigned to authorized producers to maintain moisture and prevent rind dehydration.

Important Facts

Country of Origin Italy
Specific Origin Lombardy, Piedmont
Certification PDO (1996)
Milk Type Cow’s milk
Milk Treatment Pasteurized
Rind None
Texture Soft to crumbly
Flavor Sweet to savory
Colors Straw-white, blue-green veins
Forms 13 to 26 pounds
Age 2 to 3 months

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