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Gorgonzola Dolce

Producer
Various
Country
Italy
Region
Piedmont or Lombardy
Size
25-30cm diameter, 25cm high
Weight
25 lbs
Website
Milk
Cow
Classification
Blue
Soft
Rennet
Animal
Rind
Natural

Meaning "sweet" in Italian, Gorgonzola "Dolce" was developed after World War II, largely in response to the demand for a milder cheese.

The production process is almost identical to Gorgonzola Naturale, and both styles must be made according to the DOP (name protection) regulations. Cow's milk for production must come from one of the designated provinces in Piedmont or Lombardy, and the cheese must also be made within that area. About 60 dairies, ranging from small family operations to giant industrial concerns, produce Gorgonzola.

The main difference between Dolce and Naturale is their age. Gorgonzola Dolce matures for about two months, whereas Gorgonzola Naturale is aged for at least three months and often longer. For both styles, milk is inoculated with penicillin spores to induce blue veining, but the Dolce requires a less intense penicillin culture.

The curd for Gorgonzola Dolce is neither cooked nor pressed. This results in a higher moisture cheese with a lighter, more open texture that allows for ample development of the blue mold. The development of the blue veins receives a boost when the wheels are three to four weeks old, at which time they are pierced with steel needles to introduce air. The interaction of oxygen with the enzymes, and mold with oxygen, allows the blueing to develop much more rapidly.

Weighing in at about 25lbs., wheels of Gorgonzola Dolce are usually cut into quarters before shipment, with each piece wrapped in foil to protect the rind and prevent further moisture loss.

The interior paste of Gorgonzola Dolce is ivory-white in color with subtle blue-green veins that are widely spaced.

Flavors are millky and unctuous, with notes of sour cream and butter and a clean, lactic tang. Flavors are not nearly as assertive as in Gorgonzola Naturale.

Gorgonzola Dolce pairs well with a Tuscan Vin Santo and Champagne.

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