Gorgonzola, a symbol of Made in Italy
How often a simple mistake becomes culinary history!
It can season a pizza or polenta, you can have it with simple vegetable crudités or with a little Italian chicory in an excellent risotto. Its soft texture and strong flavour make it perfect with honey, pears, strawberries and nuts, especially with a good glass of soft, savoury wine.
Yes, we’re talking about Gorgonzola, the most well-loved, strong-smelling blue cheese in the world, worth around €500 million in sales a year. It was born around the XV century, probably because of an error during the fermentation of another cheese. Gorgonzola takes its name from the Lombardian town where it was created.
Acknowledged a DOP [Protected Designation of Origin] by the European Union in 1996, today it represents around 10% of national cheese production and is therefore the third largest DOP cheese made from cow’s milk by production, after the two grana [hard, grating] cheeses. There are currently around 30 cheese-makers producing it in Piedmont and Lombardy, which make around 4 million rounds a year (of around 12 kg each).
We went to see how it’s made in its dolce [mild] and piccante [strong] versions in Novara, the central location of its history.