Gorgonzola is one of those cheeses that you’ve probably seen (and smelled) but maybe have been a little cautious to try. It’s easy to serve it the “wrong way” – too strong or overwhelming, and that’s just unfortunate. I’m here to show you: 1) Why this cheese is fantastic and 2) All the great things you can do with it (and of course what to drink with it!).
First, a little background – Gorgonzola is made with cow’s milk and is ripened with a strain of mold called Penicillium glaucum. It originates in the northern regions of Italy. Like its cousins Bleu and Roquefort, Gorgonzola is pierced. That means that the cheese is punctured a number of times with a thin metal rod before aging to introduce air and encourage the growth of the mold that gives it its look and flavor. There are a lot of ways to eat and serve this yummy cheese. The most basic is on a cheese plate. When serving Gorgonzola this way, it’s important to serve with it other cheeses that have sweet, creamy or milder flavor profiles such as Tomme, Gouda, fresh farmer’s cheese, or Brie. Some tasty treats that go well on a cheese board with Gorgonzola are sweet fruit preserves like those found at American Spoon and Emily G’s.
Gorgonzola can be added to many recipes as well – everything from pasta to mashed potatoes to pizza. No matter what you put it in, however, just remember: a little goes a long way! Gorgonzola pasta is one of my very favorite meals, but I’ve had experiences where a chef went a little nuts with the cheese and made the pasta almost inedible. Just sprinkling a little crumbled cheese on whatever it is you’re making will add that tangy, delicious kick.
And of course… we need some wine to go with it! When pairing wine with any kind of Gorgonzola dish, lean more towards red wines like Zinfandel and Bordeaux, preferably wines with fruity notes to cut through the sharp tang.
So, be brave! Get out there and give Gorgonzola a try. I hope you enjoy all of your wine (and cheese) adventures!