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Gorgonzola Dolce is one of the world's great cheeses. It comes from a small town north of Milan. This cow's milk cheese is a soft green veined Italian cheese with a unique taste. Legend has it that this cheese was created by accident: An inattentive cheese-maker left some fresh milk out to drain for too long. Hoping it wouldn't make a difference to the batch of cheese he planned to make, he used the resulting curd anyway. Months later, he found that some of his cave-aged wheels had a strange blue-green streak of mold. With some trepidation, he tasted the new cheese and found it was terrific. Today, most blue cheeses are injected with mold-producing bacteria to speed the process along. This modern process has had little effect on the flavor of the cheese and most Gorgonzola is still cave aged for some period of time. Dolce Gorgonzola is a younger, therefore milder, version of aged Gorgonzola. Dolce, by nature of its shorter aging time, is wetter and more ivory colored than Gorgonzola Naturale, which is drier and whiter and tends to have bluer streaks. It has a soft, spreadable texture and slightly salty aftertaste. Its texture makes it perfect for spreading on bread and crackers. It is also excellent in risotto and polenta, mixed into vinaigrette, melted on pizza or used as a dip. Gorgonzola shines when paired with berries, pears, peaches and plums.
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