One of the world’s oldest blue-vein cheese, Gorgonzola has been produced in the Northern Italian regions of Lombardy and Piedmont for centuries. European Law only allows this cheese to be produced in certain regions of Italy.
Gorgonzola Dolce “Sweet Gorgonzola” is soft and crumbly in texture and has a sweeter taste than its other varieties. A nutty aroma emerges from this cheese and the age of the gorgonzola deciphers it’s sharpness.
Gorgonzola Piccante “Gorgonzola Naturale, Gorgonzola Montagna or Mountain Gorgonzola” has a spicier taste than it’s younger version and is more solid and crumbly in texture.
Gorgonzola has a thin and fragile rind, and it’s body varies from creamy white to pale yellow in colour with green / blue veins through out.
Traditionally, rather than being “injected” with mould initially, it is the introduction of air in to the cheese during the ageing process that causes the blue veining to develop. Gorgonzola cheese only ages for about 3 months depending on the desired sharpness of the cheese. It is aged in a cool yet moist environment at around 11 - 12 degrees Celsius and 93% - 95% moisture.
If you are having Gorgonzola Piccante, the spicier version of the cheese - then a well-structured, valuable, aged red will go nicely together. E.g Barolo or Cabernet etc.
If it is Gorgonzola Dolce you are having - a softer red or even some whites will pair beautifully with the cheese. E.g Sangiovese or Merlot if you desire red; or a Riesling or Pinot Blanc, Pinot Grigio if you prefer a white.
Whilst Gorgonzola is a decadence on it’s own, pairing it with food or including it in some recipes can be a luxury as well. Adding Gorgonzola to pasta sauces or even fresh salads can really take your cooking to the next level.
A classic gorgonzola will always, ALWAYS compliment a soft, sweet fruit such as pear, peaches or my ultimate favourite - FIGS.
If you want to go to food heaven then try this -
Gorgonzola stuffed figs wrapped in crispy prosciutto drizzled with honey and olive oil:
- Cut figs in half and stuff with a small amount of gorgonzola
- Wrap each fig in prosciutto
- Place figs under a hot grill for 2 minutes (the idea is to get the prosciutto nice and crispy, the cheese slightly melted and the centre of the figs still slightly cool)
- Serve with a light drizzle of honey and extra virgin olive oil