The gorgonzola cheese is named after a city near Milan called Gorgonzola. Like many traditional foods, its date of birth is not sure. It is usually traced back to the Middle Ages, around 879. Initially it was called “stracchino di gorgonzola”, referring to the “tired” (“stracche” in the Lombard dialect) cows after they moved from the Alpine area of Valsassina to the flat country of Gorgonzola. Thanks to its particular weather and the efficient irrigation system, this area produced high-quality pastures which favoured the production of high quantities of milk.
The gorgonzola cheese was included in the list of P.D.O. products by the European Union on 12th June 1996, EEC Reg. 1107/96.
Strict regulations guarantee the quality and authenticity of this cheese, defining production standards and the “P.D.O.” area for milk collection and the aging process. According not only to tradition but also to the law, the gorgonzola cheese is produced only by two Italian regions, Piedmont and Lombardy, only in the provinces of Novara, Vercelli, Cuneo, Biella, Bergamo, Brescia, Como, Cremona, Lecco, Lodi, Milan, Monza, Pavia and Varese, Verbano-Cusio-Ossola and the territory of Casale Monferrato.
The gorgonzola cheese is made only with whole pasteurized cow’s milk with the addition of milk ferments, rennet and Penicillium spores. After the curding phase, the curd is placed in approximately 15 Kg moulds for each wheel, and it is left to stand so that the whey comes out. After that each wheel is turned and marked on each side with the dairy’s identification number. Afterwards they are moved to warm store-rooms where they are salted. After having aged about 3 weeks in 2/7° C cold rooms, they are pierced with big metal rods to enable the air to enter the paste, develop the existing cultures inside the curd and create the unmistakable blue/green veins of the gorgonzola cheese.
Gorgonzola is an uncooked soft cheese which belongs to the “blue cheese” family. It is made in two varieties: Gorgonzola Dolce (sweet), with a more delicate flavour, and Gorgonzola Piccante (spicy), more mature and undoubtedly with a sharper taste.
Let’s disclose the making process of an excellent Italian product, expression of an ancient tradition made of authentic and natural flavours.