Cheeses of the Piedmont Region of Italy
Characteristics - (Denomination of Protected Origin 12 June 1996)– Gorgonzola is a typical blue cheese with cylindrical appearance with flat surfaces. The cylindrical shape has a diameter of 20-32 cm and an edge of 16-20 cm. The Gorgonzola can be produced as ‘big shape’ with a weight of 10-13 kg and a ripening time at least 50 days, as ‘medium shape’ with a weight of 9-12 kg and a ripening time of at least 80 daysand as ‘small shape’ with a weight of 6-8 kg and a ripening time of at least 60 days. The crust is wrinkled, soft, and reddish-grey with yellow and white highlights. The dough is white or ivory-white or dark-yellow without holes and with typical greenish-blue veins due to mould growth. The texture is very soft, sticky and can be spread. In young cheeses, the odour is fine and delicate, becoming very strong and persistent in aged cheeses. The taste is very savoury and mainly hot.
Production area - This cheese is widely produced in the provinces of Bergamo, Biella, Brescia, Como, Cremona, Cuneo, Lecco, Lodi, Milano, Novara, Pavia, Varese, Verbano-Cusio-Ossola, Vercelli and in a small city in the province of Alessandria
Cheesemaking - Gorgonzola is produced from pasteurised cows' milk. The milk is coagulated by the addition of bovine liquid rennet at a temperature of 28-36°C. Commercial starters containing a mixture of thermophilic and mesophilic lactic bacteria are used. Generally, each producer uses a different starter to characterise their production. Penicillium cultures are also used along with the lactic starter culture. The curd is gently cut and then put in moulds but it is not pressed. The curd is dry-salted. After 20-30 days, the shape is punctured for each face to allow the air entry in the dough and mould growth.
Composition - The composition of Gorgonzola cheese is shown in table 11
Table 11. The composition of Gorgonzola cheese
Fat (% dry matter)
How to cite this article
Zeppa, Giuseppe (2004). [On-line]. Available from: http://www.dairyscience.info/cheeses-of-the-piedmont-region-of-italy/75-gorgonzola.html . Accessed: 19 June, 2013.