According to legend, Gorgonzola was invented by a lovesick cheese maker who, in his haste to meet his lover, forgot the curd in a cauldron over night only to mix it up on the following morning. The resulting cheese, given that the more acid paste from the previous evening would not amalgamate perfectly with the morning’s paste, had a wealth of folds and crannies which encouraged the development of moulds inside the cheese as it ripened. The outcome, however, was a pleasant change and the method was subsequently repeated deliberately. Another characteristic of the production methods of this cheese that was awarded denomination of protection origin (DOP) status in 1955, is its ‘baking’ – the placing of the fresh cheeses in a heated room to favour the expulsion of the serum – and its piercing with needles to encourage the development of penicillin. The Piquant version should be distinguished from the better known Sweet Gorgonzola, which is soft and creamy.
Aspect and texture: compact, yellow paste with widespread bluish-green marbling. The rind is light reddish and is usually protected by tin foil
Taste: strong with robust traces of penicillin
Serving suggestions: full bodied red wines, sweet wines, rum. Hot Italian fruit chutney, red onion preserve, celery stalks and rye bread.