Gorgonzola Piccante DOP

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When great-grandfather Luigi Guffanti, in 1876, began to season Gorgonzola cheese, his brilliant intuition was to purchase an abandoned silver mine in Valganna, in the Varese province. In the mine, with its temperature and humidity constant year-round, the cheese matured so well that Luigi quickly cornered the markets: his sons, Carlo and Mario, at the beginning of the 1900's, exported as far as Argentina and California, lands of Piedmont and Lombardy emigration.

Maximum attention to the handcrafted quality of the cheeses and passionate care taken in the refinement process mark the proud Guffanti-Fiori family tradition handed, down for five generations.

According to legend, Gorgonzola was invented by a lovesick cheese maker who, in his haste to meet his lover, forgot the curd in a cauldron over night only to mix it up on the following morning. The resulting cheese, given that the more acidic paste from the previous evening would not amalgamate perfectly with the morning’s paste, had a wealth of folds and crannies which encouraged the development of molds inside the cheese as it ripened.

The outcome, however, was a pleasant change and the method was subsequently repeated deliberately. In effect, the method of working with a ‘double paste’, mixing the evening’s curd with that of the morning, has been used for many years in the production of Gorgonzola. Another characteristic of the production methods of this cheese that was awarded denomination of protection origin (DOP) status in 1955, is its ‘baking’ – the placing of the fresh cheeses in a heated room to favor the expulsion of the whey – and its piercing with needles to encourage the development of penicillin. The Piquant version should be distinguished from the better known Sweet Gorgonzola, which is soft and creamy, as the former, traditional, version has a firmer paste with less serum content due to a longer ‘baking’ period.

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