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- Hi, guys. This is Claudia, and today I'm gonna
take you to see how Gorgonzola cheese is made in Italy.
I'm in Trecate in the Piedmont region,
which is one of the only two Italian regions
together with Lombardy where this cheese can be made,
and this is one of the only 29 dairies
in the world that can produce this cheese.
The Gorgonzola industry is worth over $800 million.
Almost 5 million wheels are produced each year,
and production is confined to this small area only.
Gorgonzola cheese has a centuries-old history,
and it is still done using the same
ingredients and techniques that it was decades ago.
Even machines like this one used to stir the curd are
designed to recreate human movements as gently as possible.
Its beautiful marbled interior is given
by Penicillium roqueforti, a fungus that
is used to ripen the cheese.
And this is why, in fact, blue cheese is called so.
- Claudia: Gorgonzola cheese is made with unskimmed
pasteurized cow's milk, and it can either be
mild and creamy or hard and pungent
depending on how long it is left to age.
The two kinds are easily distinguishable by
the color of their veins:
blue in the creamy and green in the pungent.
Claudia: Penicillium roqueforti, the fungus, is added
to milk at the very beginning of the production process
in a big cauldron together with enzymes, rennet, and yeasts.
In about 20 minutes, milk becomes curd
and can be transferred into molds.
Each wheel is marked with the dairy's identification number.
You can see number 60 here,
that's Caseificio Si Invernizzi we visited.
Here, between 450 and 500 Gorgonzola
wheels are made every day.
To help the curd settle, wheels are turned four times
then left to rest overnight.
Then, they are salted a couple of times.
At this stage, they weigh about 18 kilos,
that's 40 pounds, but this number will drop
to 12 kilos, 26 pounds, at the end
of the aging process as excess whey is released.
The salting rooms are warm and humid.
This is also to favor the activity
of yeasts inside the cheese.
Mild Gorgonzola wheels stay for three days
and hard Gorgonzola for five.
Then, they are moved again into a cold room
where they're punctured 100 times on each side.
This is to allow oxygen into the cheese
for it to grow its signature blue veins.
All Gorgonzolas at Caseificio Si Invernizzi are
punctured with a machine, but some other
in-house cheeses are still punctured by hand.
After this step, the cheese is left to age.
It takes two months for the blue creamy Gorgonzola
and three months for the green pungent one.
The color difference is pretty evident,
but do they really taste different?
The dairy set up a little cheese tasting
so that we could try them both.
That's amazing, my God. It almost doesn't feel
like you're biting
into cheese. It just melts in your mouth.
Oh, wow, they are so different. It's crazy. You know?
I mean, you can tell from the texture
that this is harder and this is creamier, but
this is much, much stronger. It has a stronger bite.
After trying Gorgonzola on its own,
in-house chef Gianpiero Cravero
wanted to show me how versatile the cheese is,
so he cooked some squid ink spaghetti with both cheeses.
- Your pasta.
- Mmmm. Wow. The cheese tastes very strong,
but I think the combination with the squid ink
is great. I mean, color-wise of course it's amazing
because black and white, they're like opposites, right?
So you can really see the cheese in there
and its sort of creamy texture on the pasta.
Gorgonzola cheese is protected by the European Union
by the Protected Designation of Origin Scheme.
This means that any cheese labeled "Gorgonzola"
must meet a particular set of standards
and is subject to quality checks.
It's also wrapped in a signature aluminum foil.
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How Italian Gorgonzola Cheese Is Made | Regional Eats

145 Folder Collection
Naphtali published on September 9, 2019
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