Beautiful like the full moon, is one of the finest Italian agrifood heritage, Dairy now a symbol of the made in Italy and abroad, along with Grana Padano and Parmigiano Reggiano PDO. I'm talking about the blue cheese with protected designation of origin (DOP), old cow's milk cheese from the characteristic marbling, whose origins are traced, on one side, the Lombard town in the 9th century, thirty kilometers of Milan, and on the other to the natural caves of Valsassina, where the storage conditions are such that it can refine and buy that unique taste we all know. The first production sites were concentrated between Milan and Como, but then you are also extended to the provinces of Pavia and Novara, until those of Cuneo and the Monferrato. Today, almost half of the production of Gorgonzola Dop takes place in the province of Novara, City I visit often, and it so happens to be one of my absolute favorite cheeses. I couldn't then make me miss the opportunity to get to know him, witnessing the entire production process (and tasting extensively) in one of the most important companies of Novara, the Latteria Sociale Cameri.
In the video, You can see the phases of the production, based on three ingredients: milk, rennet, Salt. I think the images speak more than all words, but I want to tell you a little’ the history of this Dairy and peculiar to this cheese dairy arrivals. I hope that watching an artisan production, where time and patience play a fundamental role, next time we're all going to be more careful in buying first a Gorgonzola Dop and eating it considering the effort that lies behind that creamy mouthful, sweet or spicy, that much we like. The social dairy Cameri, born on 24 February 1914 and is therefore more than one hundred years that cooperative members, today 19, bring every day about 350 dairy quintals of milk from more than 1,200 cattle raised, all within 25 km from the production area. Besides the Gorgonzola Dop (sweet and spicy, that represent the 90% of dairy production), wonderful Taleggio Dop is produced (This dairy is the only manufacturer of taleggio Dop of the province of Novara and I recommend you try it), UNA Toma blu, a Toma cheese and Verdalpe, a sumptuous blue cheese from goat's milk, creamy, slightly marbled, truly unforgettable. In total, are over 110 thousand tons of processed milk every year in this establishment.
The production process is, even today, completely handmade: the dairy has chosen to maintain over time this feature, which causes no shapes are alike. The milk, arriving at night in the factory, is pasteurized and processed into traditional boilers from 600 kg each, that let you do all the work by hand. To produce the Gorgonzola Dop (representing the 90% of Gorgonzola Cheese produced on the farm), pasteurized milk are added calf rennet, the selected yeasts and spores of penicillin, at a temperature of 30-32 degrees. The curd, you get in about 30 minutes, is cut with movements determined using the plate, or with long metal knives. Then, always at hand, the curd is placed into molds. The forms are made to drain, stir several times and then dry salted on the surface. To obtain a form of gorgonzola takes about a hundredweight of milk. At this point, before entering into the cells, on each form shall bear the identifying mark of the manufacturing plant. The seasoning, here at Cameri, takes place exclusively on wood planks of FIR, within cells at room temperature of 4-5 degrees, and humidity 95-98%. The wood on which lie the forms gives the crust a characteristic pink, that is not found in those resting on plastic or metal, often used in large industrial plants.
During maturation, the shapes are drilled to allow the harmonious development of marbling, and are flipped several times, periodically. For the Gorgonzola Dop, the specification provides for a 50-day minimum seasoning, but the dairy Cameri chose to put it on the market after a minimum of 80 days. With regard to the Spicy Gorgonzola Dop, the traditional seasoning phase lasts three months (90 days); then the cheese goes to hone in a cell, where is 4 or 5 months for seasoned, in the case of “Classic selection San Lucio”; as she reaches the 7 months of maturation in the case of “Gorgonzola Reserve”. Finally, the spicy gorgonzola has matured for at least 70 days, but the dairy puts on the market only after 120 days. For its production, uses a particular type of calf rennet and a selected blend of spores from penicillum.
To drive the whole process there are gestures and the cares of the dairyman, that monitors the activity of the dairy. A visit to the maturing room is an experience not to be missed, especially olfactory level, for those who want to know more about this great cheese, the Italy successfully exporting around the world. From Cameri, In fact, the United States and Japan flies up to gorgonzola, where the taste of the Japanese vira decidedly on spicy Gorgonzola. To date, the Japan is the first foreign market targeted by the Guild's spicy Gorgonzola Cameri.
You don't need me to tell you that Gorgonzola Dop, like all cheeses, become part of a balanced diet: his calorie intake is of 336 kilocalories per 100 grams: contains 19 grams of protein, fat 26, 360 milligrams of phosphorus and 420 milligrams of calcium, In addition to a broad spectrum of vitamins of Group A and B. That being said, I could satisfy my daily calorie only with gorgonzola…