Saturday, November 10th, 2012

I am finally breaking my long blog silence to sing the praise of gorgonzola. Yes, that delicious Italian cheese revered by many and unfortunately shunned by too many. Why would one not like gorgonzola? Surely for the same reason that people don’t like anchovies (eew too strong a taste), lamb (ditto) and game meats (wild boar is to die for but not for the timid of taste). Gorgonzola comes from the northwest of Italy especially Piemonte but also Lombardia. The town of Gorgonzola naturally claims ownership but not surprisingly (this is Italy after all) this is a disputed claim. There are two versions: dolce (sweet) and picante or montagna. The former is younger and milder tasting than the latter. I love them both.

So how did this even come up? Well, I had some gorgonzola in the fridge as I often do and some ripe pears and decided to enjoy them together. Fruit and gorgonzola are a natural pairing – the somewhat tart taste of the cheese playing off of the sweetness of the fruit. So this is a great time of year to enjoy the combination. Likewise figs are great with it so don’t waste a minute – get some great fruit and cheese and go at it.

Now that leads me to consider some of the other ways that I’ve had gorgonzola at home. In the Chez Panisse Pasta, Pizza and Calzone cookbook the first pizza recipe is for: carmelized onions, gorgonzola and rosemary. This is an inspired combination with the sweetness of the onions in this case that goes so well with the gorgonzola. I also think that the combination of gorgonzola and polenta is nothing short of magic. Just make some polenta and pour it out onto a surface or sheet pan. When it solidified cut it into squares of oblong pieces, top with a bit of gorgonzola and stick it under the broiler. It’s one of those combinations where 1+1 seems to come out to 3. The whole is more than the sum of the parts.

I do hope that if you’re not already a gorgonzola fan you’ll give it a try. If already among those who appreciate this great cheese perhaps you can let me know some other combination that you love.

2 Responses to “Gorgonzola”

  1. Nancy Petralia Says:

    Try it with Italian black rice. You’ll find it in the mercato as Venere Nero. Unlike risotto you boil thi rice. When it’s finished add crumbled Gorgonzola and stir to combine. Add toasted walnut and savor. I’ll be envious!

  2. Joe Says:

    Thanks Nancy, I had never heard of black rice but will see if I can find some around her. It sounds great!


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