The most important etiquette rules on how to serve and eat Gorgonzola. Tips to be the ideal host or the perfect guest at the dining table.
What Gorgonzola etiquette is
Gorgonzola etiquette is the set of rules to properly serve and eat Gorgonzola. Such rules help avoid behaviors that can disrespect hosts or guests, or make you look unpolite.
If you are hosting, follow Gorgonzola etiquette to serve it to your guests appropriately.
If you are a guest, respect the etiquette rules to properly eat and enjoy it.
What you should know about Gorgonzola
Gorgonzola is a creamy, veined blue cheese. It is originally from northern Italy. In the European Union (EU), the name Gorgonzola is protected. Gorgonzola in the EU must come only from a limited area in Piedmont and Lombardy.
Gorgonzola is made from unskimmed cow’s milk. A few varieties exist, mostly depending on the animal’s diet and the production method. The two most common varieties are:
- Dolce (sweet). It has a milder taste and a creamy texture.
- Piccante (piquant). It has a more piquant taste, due to its blue veins. The texture tends to be firmer and crumbly.
Etiquette tips to serve and eat Gorgonzola
1) How to store Gorgonzola
It is best to eat Gorgonzola within a few days from the purchase.
Store Gorgonzola in the fridge. Gorgonzola dolce can last for up to 7 days. The piccante variety can last for 1 or 2 weeks.
Wrap it in waxed paper. Alternatively, place it in a container. Avoid storing it with other cheeses. Otherwise, its strong smell might affect the other cheeses’ taste.
In the freezer, unopened Gorgonzola can last for up to 6 months. However, freezing affects the taste and texture of the cheese. Thus, freeze Gorgonzola only if you plan to cook it.
Store dishes with cooked Gorgonzola in the fridge. They can last for up to 3 and 5 days.
2) How to clean Gorgonzola
You do not need to wash Gorgonzola.
Its blue veins are edible. The rind is edible too. However, it is best to discard it.
After a few days, the exterior part of the cheese may start to darken in color. With a knife, remove the darkened areas and discard them.
3) How to cook Gorgonzola
You can prepare Gorgonzola in many ways.
It is a great ingredient for salads and sandwiches.
The best way to cook Gorgonzola is to add it in the final stage of cooking. Otherwise, you risk overcooking it and spoiling the taste.
4) How to serve & present Gorgonzola
Serve Gorgonzola at room temperature. Take it out of the fridge at least 30 minutes before serving. Gorgonzola dolce tends to melt. Keep it out for 1 or 2 hours if you like it creamy.
Gorgonzola is perfect as an appetizer. It can accompany pre-meal drinks. Or you can serve it after the meal, before dessert.
You can present Gorgonzola piccante in cubes, without the rind. Gorgonzola dolce is creamy, sometimes even runny, and melts out of the fridge. Thus, you should serve it with its rind. Even if you slice it beforehand.
Accompany it with bread, grissini, or focaccia.
If you serve Gorgonzola in a cooked dish, cook it immediately before serving.
5) Food and wine to pair Gorgonzola with
Gorgonzola goes well with many dishes. Pasta. Rice and risotto. Pizza. Polenta.
Gorgonzola pairs well with cured meat from Italy. Such as Prosciutto Crudo or Salame. It can enhance the flavor of meat and eggs. It is not common with fish and seafood.
The perfect wine pairing depends on the variety.
Gorgonzola piccante pairs best with red wine. Barbaresco. Cabernet Sauvignon. Gattinara. Chianti. Amarone. Brunello di Montalcino. It matches well with dessert wines too. Such as Marsala, Moscato, or Passito.
Finally, both varieties pair well with beer.
6) How to eat Gorgonzola
The rind is edible, but it can spoil the flavor. Thus, it is best to discard it. Separate it with a knife. Then, discard it on the side of your plate.
Eat Gorgonzola with a fork. You can use a knife to spread it on bread or focaccia. Using a spoon is against etiquette.
Do not eat Gorgonzola with your fingers. Gorgonzola dolce has a creamy texture. The piccante variety has a strong smell.
Gorgonzola etiquette: the worst mistakes
The Rude Index identifies and ranks negative behaviors.
A high score (8-10) means that the behavior has the potential to trigger a conflict with others. A medium score (4-7) means that the behavior risks making you look inelegant and unsophisticated. More about the Rude Index and its methodology here.
Avoid the worst Gorgonzola etiquette mistakes.
- 9/10. Serving spoiled Gorgonzola.
- 5/10. Pairing Gorgonzola with fish or seafood.
- 5/10. Eating Gorgonzola with your fingers.
- 5/10. Overcooking it.
- 4/10. Eating it with a spoon.
Additional information for properly serving Gorgonzola
How many calories per serving?
Counting calories is important to stay healthy and to correctly plan a menu.
Gorgonzola contains 314 calories per 100 grams. An average slice is around 20 grams and contains 86 calories.
How to buy the best Gorgonzola
A crucial factor in Gorgonzola etiquette is to serve the best product possible to your guests.
Season and availability
Gorgonzola is available all year round.
Choose the best
To buy the best cheese, look at the origin. The best Gorgonzola comes from Italy. Cheesemakers in Italy have to comply with the strict quality regulations from the Gorgonzola Consortium. Hence, its quality is controlled and consistent.
Italian Gorgonzola must have a DOP mark on its packaging. The acronym stands for “protected origin”.
Before buying, check the expiration date. Gorgonzola dolce is best fresh. If the cheese (not the rind) looks brownish, the cheese has started to turn.
Alternatives to Gorgonzola
The most popular alternatives are:
- Gorgonzola Consortium: gorgonzola.com