Pronunciation: [gohr-gan-ZOH-lah]

Named for a town outside Milan where it was originally made, Gorgonzola is one of Italy's great cheeses. It has an ivory-colored interior that can be lightly or thickly streaked with bluish-green veins. This cow's-milk cheese is rich and creamy with a savory, slightly pungent flavor. Gorgonzola is aged for two to three months and sometimes up to six months. When aged more than six months, the flavor and aroma can be quite strong — sometimes downright stinky. Younger cheeses are sold as Gorgonzola dolce, while longer-aged cheeses are sold as Gorgonzola naturale or Gorgonzola Piccante. Though the only true Gorgonzola comes from Italy's Lombardy and Piedmont regions, there are numerous pretenders (including American and Danish), which for the most part are simply not as good.

From The Food Lover's Companion, Fourth edition by Sharon Tyler Herbst and Ron Herbst. Copyright © 2007, 2001, 1995, 1990 by Barron's Educational Series, Inc.

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