Gorgonzola (/ˌɡɔːrɡənˈzlə/; Italian pronunciation: [ɡorɡonˈdzɔːla]) is a veined Italian blue cheese, made from unskimmed cow's milk. It can be buttery or firm, crumbly and quite salty, with a "bite" from its blue veining.[2]

A big blue cheese.jpg
Gorgonzola cheese
Country of originItaly
Region, townGorgonzola
Source of milkCow
TextureSoft and crumbly
Fat content25-35%
Aging time3–4 months
CertificationItaly: DOC from 1955;
EU: PDO from 1996[1]
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Gorgonzola has been produced for centuries in Gorgonzola, Milan, acquiring its greenish-blue marbling in the 11th century. However, the town's claim of geographical origin is disputed by other localities.[3]


Today, it is mainly produced in the northern Italian regions of Piedmont and Lombardy. Whole cow's milk is used, to which starter bacteria are added with spores of the mould Penicillium glaucum. The whey is then removed during curdling, and the result aged at low temperatures.

Pizza Trieste with Gorgonzola and apples

During the ageing process, metal rods are quickly inserted and removed, creating air channels that allow the mould spores to grow into hyphae and cause the cheese's characteristic veining. Gorgonzola is typically aged for three to four months. The length of the ageing process determines the consistency of the cheese, which gets firmer as it ripens. There are two varieties of Gorgonzola, which differ mainly in their age: the less aged Gorgonzola Dolce (also called Sweet Gorgonzola) and the more aged Gorgonzola Piccante (also called Gorgonzola Naturale, Gorgonzola Montagna, or Mountain Gorgonzola).

Under EU law, Gorgonzola enjoys Protected Geographical Status. Termed DOP in Italy, this means that it can only be produced in the provinces of Novara, Bergamo, Brescia, Como, Cremona, Cuneo, Lecco, Lodi, Milan, Pavia, Varese, Verbano-Cusio-Ossola and Vercelli, as well as a number of comuni in the area of Casale Monferrato (province of Alessandria).


Gorgonzola may be eaten in many ways, as all blue cheeses. It is often added to salads, either straight or as part of a blue cheese dressing. Combined with other soft cheeses it is an ingredient of pizza ai quattro formaggi (four-cheese pizza). It is often used as a topping for steak, sometimes in the form of a sauce with Port or other sweet wine. It may be melted into a risotto in the final stage of cooking, or served alongside polenta.

Nutrition is as follows: 1 ounce (28 grams) of gorgonzola contains 100 calories, 9 g of fat, 375 mg of sodium, 1 g of carbohydrate and 6 g of protein. It contains 5.3 g of saturated fat.

In popular cultureEdit

James Joyce, in his 1922 Ulysses, gives his hero Bloom a lunch of "a glass of Burgundy and a Gorgonzola sandwich". In his 1972 book Ulysses on the Liffey, critic and Joyce scholar Richard Ellmann suggests that "Besides serving as a parable that life breeds corruption, Gorgonzola is probably chosen also because of Dante's adventures with the Gorgon in the Inferno IX. Bloom masters the monster by digesting her."[4]


  1. ^ "Gorgonzola" (in Italian). Archived from the original on 2004-11-15. Retrieved 2013-03-01.
  2. ^ "Gorgonzola DOP". BuonaLombardia. Regione Lombardia. 18 March 2020. Retrieved 5 April 2020.
  3. ^ Helm-Ropelato, Rebecca (2 February 2005). "The birthplace of Gorgonzola. Maybe". Christian Science Monitor.
  4. ^ Richard Ellmann (1972). Ulysses on the Liffey. Oxford University Press. p. 191. ISBN 978-0-19-972912-8.

External linksEdit