Gorgonzola DOP is the famous blue cheese produced from cow milk in various areas of Piemonte and Lombardia, mainly in the provinces of Novara, Pavia and Milan.
It is a very ancient cheese and its origins are wrapped in legend: it is told that it was created by a cheese maker in love who left the curd outside for the night to be with his lover.The following day, he tried to cover his mistake by pouring it in a fresh curd, getting this very peculiar cheese at the end of seasoning. Gorgonzola takes its name by the town near Milan where some believe it was produced for the first time: in ancient times, it was in fact called "green stracchino" or "stracchino from Gorgonzola". In the Middle Ages it was believed to have healing properties for gastrointestinal diseases, which modern science may be able to confirm, if the moulds which are responsible for the peculiar greenish veins in the cheese, are "Penicillum roqueforti", related to the most famous "Penicillum notatum" and "chrysogenum", from which come penicillin.
Its diffusion has been slow but steady, and at the beginning of 1900 it began to be fan pus abroad, mainly in England, France and Germany. After the war, the production techniques were modified in order to have a more hygienic process: from the "two paste" Gorgonzola /(which employed the milk from two different milkings) to the "one paste" kind.
Today,there are only about 30 companies equipped to produce this extraordinary cheese, which needs great care and a absolutely pure milk, without any antibiotics or pesticides which would damage the delicate moulds.
Gorgonzola DOP is a very high quality product which features a very peculiar flavour, lightly piquant and creamy in the dolce (sweet) kind, strong, sharp and crumblier the piccante (piquant) kind.
It has many different uses in the kitchen: it can be used to make tasty sauces which perfectly suit pasta, rice, gnocchi or polenta, in a typical match made in Lombardia. Try it also with honey a marmalades.