Tag Archives: Vincenzio D’Antonio

Gorgonzola Cheese and Recipes

gorgonzolaWritten By Vincenzo D’Antonio

Gorgonzola is one of the most renowned Italian cheeses in the world. It is a blue veined DOP cheese produced exclusively in Italy from whole cow milk. As it often happens for many specialties of the traditional Italian cuisine, its origins are halfway between legend and reality. According to the historians, the first Gorgonzola ever to be produced dates back somewhere between the 9th and the 12th century in a small village nearby Milan called Gorgonzola; this cheese was then named after this same village.

Back then, people did not use to pay much attention to the classification of cheeses as they were all referred to as “caseus”, a Latin word. Not even this special blue veined and moldy cheese was an exception to that rule. At that time, no one could explain exactly how Gorgonzola could be made, thus, it was regarded somewhat as the result of a plant process halfway between alchemy and magic, a sort of miracle of nature giving raise to that particular greenish nuance and unmatched flavor.

Subsequently, in the 16th century, Gorgonzola was also given the name stracchino. It referred to the cheese from the milk of weary cows recovering from the long descent from the high mountain pastures to the valley.

In the lowlands of Lombardy the stracchino was also known as erborin that meant parsley in the ancient dialect and thus, best described that greenish veining inside the cheese. Later on, the know-how of Gorgonzola was brought to the Piedmont region due to the migrations of Lombard dairymen’s families across the Ticino River, which separates the two regions.

Once passed the river, these dairymen decided to settle in the Novara area because they found it rich in water, pastures, cattle and, therefore, milk.

Gorgonzola must be made in the area of origin, with milk from the consortium territory and, in the same area, must be produced, seasoned and packaged for sale. If that does not occur, the cheese shouldn’t be regarded as Gorgonzola.

Gorgonzola DOP was lawfully recognized by the UE in the year 1996.

Each and every cheese round weighing about 12kg is labeled at the origin, displays information about the cheese maker. In order to be sold as such, each round should be wrapped in aluminum foil displaying small embossed “g” printed all over the wrapping foil: without this trademark of the Consortium, the cheese shouldn’t be regarded as Gorgonzola.

Gorgonzola is made in part of the regions of Piedmont and Lombardy.

Gorgonzola cheese is produced with milk of the highest quality, free of disinfectants, pesticides and antibiotics. Otherwise the molds and lactic acid bacteria wouldn’t be able to grow as they are very delicate and susceptible to the surrounding environment; they are the key components of the taste qualities of the Gorgonzola DOP.

From a nutritional stand point, Gorgonzola is a wholesome food, containing all the essential nutritional elements to ensure a homogeneous psychophysical development and a balanced intake of healthy daily energy. It is very rich in minerals and vitamins and is a unique food due to its nutritional and antioxidant properties; the ideal ingredient for the preparation of many tasty recipes.




1 pack of frozen vol au vents
Sweet gorgonzola
Spicy gorgonzola

Bake frozen vol au vents in pre-heated oven at 180°. When almost baked take out of oven and fill in the following ways:

–       Sweet gorgonzola with asparagus

–       Sweet gorgonzola with shrimps

–       Spicy gorgonzola with pears

Bake in oven for about 2 minutes

The best wines: Bonarda and Lambrusco



150g sweet gorgonzola
50g spicy gorgonzola
350g di penne
Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano DOP

Melt both types of gorgonzola in a pan and add 3 spoons of milk without bringing to the boil. In the meantime cook the penne so that it is “al dente”. Put everything into a pyrex dish, sprinkle with grated Parmigiano-Reggiano and grill for 5 minutes.

The best wines: Erbaluce – Arneis – Sauvignon

Secondo piatto  Scaloppine al gorgonzola

4 veal escalopes
150g sweet gorgonzola
40g butter
1 glass dry white wine

Remove the crust from the gorgonzola and cut it into four slices. Flour the veal cutlets. Melt the butter in a frying pan, cook the meat on both sides until golden and douse with the white wine. Place the gorgonzola over the slices of veal, cover with a lid and cook for one minute on slow heat. Serve immediately on warm plates.

The best wines: Erbaluce – Sauvignon










Taleggio Cheese and Recipes


Written By Vincenzo D’Antonio

Taleggio is a cheese of very old origins, perhaps first appearing even before the fifth century. Some documents from the eight century refer to the commerce and the exchange concerning this cheese.

Why this name Taleggio? Because its origin area is the Val Taleggio, in Lombardy, the north region of Italy.  The Val Taleggio farmers began to produce this cheese as a way to preserve expiring milk.  Its production now extends to the neighboring areas and production and seasoning of Taleggio occurs in Lombardy, part of Piedmont and part of Veneto.

In order to confirm its tradition, Taleggio has been recognized as a PDO cheese in 1996.

Taleggio is made using cow’s milk and it can be used raw or pasteurized.  To make Taleggio the allowed rennet must be from very young cows.  Taleggio is an excellent, table cheese and it can be eaten as a second course or at the end of the meal often accompanied with fruits such as apples and pears.

Do serve Taleggio at room temperature, so that its taste and its aroma is exalted. It is not necessary to remove the rind, but you may gently scrape it.  Taleggio is also a key  ingredient in the preparation of first courses,  salads and also of pizzas.

The annual production of Taleggio PDO is 18,357,246 pounds and export of Taleggio PDO to the USA is 420,948 pounds or 2% of the total annual production.


Sicilian “Bucatini” with Taleggio DOP

Ingredients for 4 persons:

400 gr. of Bucatini
100 gr. of Taleggio DOP
50 gr. of eggplants
12 black olives
12 leaves of basil
2 eggs
5 little tomatoes

1 glass of extra virgin olive oil

salt and pepper


Put the little tomatoes in hot water for one minute. Then, when not hot, peel them and cut them in little cubes.
Then, cut the eggplants into cubes and using kitchen paper, dry them very well.

Take off the bones from the black olives and cut them in little pieces.
Put extra virgin olive oil in a pan and fry carefully the above ingredients  for 4 minutes.

Put the Bucatini in salty hot water and strain them when cooked.

Please, cook bucatini al dente !
Put bucatini in a large tureen, add immediately thin slices of Taleggio DOP and the content of the pan; then add a bit of pepper.
Then make portions using hot dishes.

Buon Appetito !!!


Omelette with melted Taleggio  DOP

Ingredients for 4 persons:

8 eggs

200 gr. of Taleggio DOP

100 gr. of stewed onions (slices)

100 gr. of rousted peppers (SLICES)

60 gr. of parsley



Beat the eggs in a bowl, add the slices of onions and  peppers in slices, a bit of salt and the chopped parsley.

Prepare omelette.

Cut Taleggio in small cubes.

Put these small cubes of Taleggio upon omelette and put the whole dish in hot oven for 3 minutes.

Then, serve it.

Buon Appetito !!


Introducing Vincenzo D’Antonio

VincenzoWe welcome Vincenzo D’Antonio to The Good Life as a contributing author.  D’Antonio will be contributing articles on his home country and educate you on Italian culinary traditions.  We met in Las Vegas at Caesar’s Palace where he accompanied the great Naples Pizza Master Enzo Coccia in a pizza demonstration and wine pairing.  He is pictured here in mid-thought as he is Coccia’s official translator.

About Vincenzo D’Antonio 

Food & Wine connoisseur and aficionado, Vincenzo gathered his expertise while working in the food and beverage sector in Italy. He is well-traveled throughout nearly every provincial capital and all of their unique little hamlets. He is welcomed as a guest and host of regional food and wine events where he shares his vast repository of wine and food info. He is an encyclopedia of all the acronyms – DOP, IGP, DOCG.

He now writes for ItaliaaTavola.net and he won a print journalist award from the region of Puglia (Salento Negroamaro). He has internal GPS in Italy and can easily sniff out the most charming places, wonderful wines and the most gorgeous views no matter the village, town or city.