Gorgonzola Piccante: A Guide to this Savory Cheese

Are you a cheese lover looking to tantalize your taste buds with something bold and spicy? Look no further than Gorgonzola Piccante! This savory cheese is known for its intense flavor profile and creamy texture, making it a favorite among cheese connoisseurs. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the origins of Gorgonzola Piccante, its unique characteristics, and provide tips on how to best enjoy this delicious cheese. Whether you’re a seasoned cheese aficionado or just looking to expand your palate, Gorgonzola Piccante is sure to impress.

What is Gorgonzola Piccante?

Gorgonzola Piccante is a type of Italian blue cheese known for its bold and spicy flavors. It is made from cow’s milk and aged for a longer period compared to its milder counterpart, Gorgonzola Dolce. This aging process allows Gorgonzola Piccante to develop a stronger, more pungent taste with a crumbly texture.

Origin of Gorgonzola Piccante

Gorgonzola Piccante originates from the town of Gorgonzola in the Lombardy region of Italy. It has been produced since the early Middle Ages and is considered one of the oldest blue cheeses in the world. The unique caves in this region provide the perfect environment for aging and maturing the cheese, resulting in its distinctive flavor profile.

Characteristics of Gorgonzola Piccante

Gorgonzola Piccante is characterized by its sharp and tangy taste, which is more intense than Gorgonzola Dolce. The cheese has a creamy white color with streaks of blue-green mold running throughout. It has a crumbly and slightly grainy texture, making it perfect for crumbling over salads, pasta, or spreading on crackers.

Differences between Gorgonzola Piccante and Dolce

The main difference between Gorgonzola Piccante and Dolce lies in their taste and texture. Gorgonzola Piccante has a stronger and spicier flavor profile, while Gorgonzola Dolce is milder and creamier. Additionally, Gorgonzola Piccante is aged for a longer period, giving it a firmer and crumblier texture compared to the softer and smoother texture of Gorgonzola Dolce. Both cheeses are versatile and can be used in a variety of dishes, depending on your preference for flavor intensity.

How is Gorgonzola Piccante Made?

Ingredients

Gorgonzola Piccante is made from the following main ingredients:

  • Cow’s milk
  • Penicillium Roqueforti (blue mold)
  • Salt
  • Rennet

Production Process

  1. The cow’s milk is heated and then mixed with the blue mold spores and rennet.
  2. The mixture is left to curdle, forming curds.
  3. The curds are cut and drained, then placed into molds where they are left to ferment.
  4. After fermentation, the cheese is salted and left to age.

Aging Process

Gorgonzola Piccante is aged for a minimum of 90 days. During this time, the cheese develops its bold and spicy flavors as the blue mold spreads throughout the cheese. The aging process is crucial in developing the unique taste and texture of Gorgonzola Piccante.

Pairing Gorgonzola Piccante with Food and Wine

When it comes to enjoying the bold and spicy flavors of Gorgonzola Piccante, it’s important to pair this savory cheese with the right foods and wines to truly enhance the taste experience. Here are some suggestions for the best food pairings, wine pairings, and recipe ideas to complement Gorgonzola Piccante:

Best Food Pairings

  • Fresh Fruits: Gorgonzola Piccante pairs well with fresh fruits like pears, figs, and grapes. The sweetness of the fruits balances out the sharpness of the cheese.
  • Nuts: Try pairing Gorgonzola Piccante with walnuts, pecans, or hazelnuts for a crunchy and flavorful combination.
  • Meats: Gorgonzola Piccante can be enjoyed with cured meats like prosciutto or salami, as well as grilled meats like steak or chicken.
  • Breads: Serve Gorgonzola Piccante with crusty bread or crackers to create a simple and delicious snack or appetizer.

Wine Pairings

  • Bold Red Wines: Gorgonzola Piccante pairs well with bold red wines like Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, or Zinfandel. The tannins in these wines complement the sharpness of the cheese.
  • Sweet White Wines: Alternatively, you can pair Gorgonzola Piccante with sweet white wines like Riesling or Moscato. The sweetness of these wines balances out the spiciness of the cheese.
  • Port: For a decadent pairing, try Gorgonzola Piccante with a glass of Port wine. The rich flavors of the Port complement the bold flavors of the cheese.

Recipe Ideas

  • Gorgonzola Piccante Pasta: Toss cooked pasta with crumbled Gorgonzola Piccante, walnuts, and a drizzle of olive oil for a quick and delicious meal.
  • Gorgonzola Piccante Salad: Top mixed greens with crumbled Gorgonzola Piccante, fresh figs, and a balsamic vinaigrette for a flavorful salad.
  • Gorgonzola Piccante Crostini: Spread Gorgonzola Piccante on toasted baguette slices and top with honey for a sweet and savory appetizer.

By pairing Gorgonzola Piccante with the right foods and wines, you can elevate the flavors of this savory cheese and create a memorable dining experience. Enjoy experimenting with different combinations to find your perfect match!

Where to Buy Gorgonzola Piccante

Online Retailers

When looking to purchase Gorgonzola Piccante online, there are several reputable retailers to consider. Websites such as Amazon, iGourmet, and Murray’s Cheese offer a wide selection of gourmet cheeses, including Gorgonzola Piccante. Be sure to check for reviews and ratings to ensure you are getting a high-quality product.

Local Cheese Shops

For a more personalized shopping experience, consider visiting your local cheese shop. Many specialty cheese shops carry Gorgonzola Piccante and can provide recommendations on pairings and serving suggestions. Ask the cheesemonger for advice on the best way to enjoy this bold and spicy cheese.

Farmers Markets

Supporting local farmers and artisans is always a great option when shopping for gourmet foods. Many farmers markets feature vendors who sell a variety of cheeses, including Gorgonzola Piccante. Take the time to talk to the vendors about their products and learn more about the cheese-making process.

In conclusion, Gorgonzola Piccante is a unique and flavorful cheese that adds a bold and spicy kick to any dish. Whether enjoyed on its own or incorporated into recipes, this savory cheese is sure to impress even the most discerning food enthusiasts. So next time you’re looking to elevate your culinary creations, consider adding Gorgonzola Piccante to your repertoire for a truly unforgettable taste experience.