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Thursday, December 16, 2021

A Legend from the North of Italy: Gorgonzola DOP

Gorgonzola Cheese, with its story that started with cream forgotten in the pot, VII. It is a rare flavor that has remained unchanged since the (5th) century. Gorgonzola, often mixed with French Roquefort and Danish Danish Blue; It is distinguished from others by its structure and taste.
According to the rumor, the story of its construction; It begins when a dairy worker forgets his cream in a pot with metal rods in the town of Gorgonzola, near Milan, Italy. The next day, when he finds the cream with all its water drained, he thinks that his boss will not understand the difference, he adds fresh cream and mixes it. After a while, he finds the forgotten pottery in a cheese-like, slightly moldy state resembling green veined white marble. The cheese maker and his boss, who tasted this thing, which could not be called cheese at that time, liked its sharp smell and harsh taste and offered it to the townspeople. When the townspeople like it, attempts are made again and again to find out how to make this incidentally produced cheese. After these trials, Gorgonzola started to be produced regularly after that day.
Production of Gorgonzola cheese, which was registered in the name of Italy by the European Union in 1996 and received Geographical Indication; In accordance with Italian Law and European Union Protection of Origin rules, it can only be done in the provinces of Novara, Bergamo, Brescia, Como, Cremona, Cuneo, Lecco, Lodi, Milan, Pavia, Varese, Verbano-Cusio-Ossola and Vercelli. And there are only 29 dairy farms with production licenses.
Gorgonzola Cheese is actually produced in two varieties. The only factor that makes it possible to have two varieties is the waiting time of the cheese. The taste of cheese that is kept for a short time becomes lighter and its texture is creamy. But commonly Gorgonzola Cheese is hard and has a sharp taste. It's pretty easy to tell the two apart. You don't have to taste the cheese for this; the veins of the creamy one are blue; the veins of the hard one are more prominent and the color is green.
How to Make Gorgonzola DOP Cheese?
Before starting to heat the skimmed cow's milk in the cauldron, Penicillium Chrysogenum, a kind of fungus, and enzyme and rennet are added to the milk. It is waited for the milk to coagulate by stirring continuously for 20 minutes. Coagulated milk is poured into cylindrical containers. There are reliefs on the inner bottom of these cylindrical containers with the production date, serial number and the name of the dairy where the production is made. Thus, all the information of the cheese, which will take the shape of a wheel at the end of production, is available on it. This information is used by authorized institutions, without checking the authenticity of the cheese. Afterwards, these containers are turned upside down four times and the curd is allowed to settle and rest for a day. After the rest period, it is salted. At this stage, the weight of a wheel of cheese weighing up to 40 kilograms will decrease to 26 kilograms with the release of excess whey – as the producers say, as the cheese ages. Salting rooms are hot and humid. This warm and humid environment allows the salt to spread more easily and homogeneously into the cheese. At the same time, it supports the activation of the yeast in the cheese. The soft Gorgonzola is kept in the salting room for 3 days, and the hard and sharp Gorgonzola is kept for 5 days. The cheeses whose waiting period is over in the salting room are taken back to the cold room. Here, holes are made in the cheese with sticks. The reason for the hole opening; is to ensure that the oxygen that causes the growth of the veins reaches the cheese. This drilling is traditionally still done by hand. After this stage, finally, the cheese is left to rest for aging. Blue, creamy Gorgonzola is aged for 2 months, firm and green Gorgonzola for 3 months. The cheese that is now ready is cut with traditional methods (with the help of a metal tool in the form of a rope), wrapped in aluminum foil and packaged.
How can we consume Gorgonzola DOP Cheese?
This cheese, which is simply indispensable on cheese plates and is frequently consumed with wine, has a wide usage area. It is also used in making pasta sauce, sweetening pastries such as Lasagna and Pizza. You can find many recipes where you can use Gorgonzola as a sauce for seafood or even hot dogs.
If you still haven't tried Gorgonzola cheese with its real iconic blue color or if you haven't forgotten its taste, you can buy it now by clicking here.

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