Confused between gorgonzola and blue cheese? If you’re a lover of creamy and slightly crumbly cheese with a great sharp tang, then you may already be familiar with the famous gorgonzola cheese. It has a mild milky flavor and comes with the blue-green marbling that’s characteristic of blue cheeses that many people enjoy.
However, it may surprise you that gorgonzola isn’t just any kind of blue cheese. In fact, there are some characteristics that make gorgonzola and blue cheese separate cheeses.
Here’s more about their differences so you can decide which one to add to your next cheese board!
What is the Difference Between Gorgonzola and Blue Cheese?
A good way to remember the main difference between the two is that all gorgonzola cheeses are blue, but not all blue cheeses can be classified as gorgonzola.
In fact, it must certified by the DOP (Denominiazione di Origine Protetta) as genuine gorgonzola. Cheeses labeled gorgonzola without the official DOP stamp cannot be considered true gorgonzola.
But what makes it so distinct from other blue cheeses? To better understand the differences, we’ll be detailing what gorgonzola cheese is and comparing it to the properties of blue cheese.
|Origin||Specific locations in Italy||France, Spain, US|
|Appearance||Longer blue veins||Blue veins|
|Taste||Milder and milkier||Sharp and salty|
|Smell||More muted||Pungent and robust|
|Nutrition||Low-carb, high-fat, and moderate-protein||Low-carb, high-fat, and moderate-protein|
|Uses||A melting cheese for pizza and pasta||Served with sandwiches, fruits, nuts, and more.|
|Process||Often made using pasteurized, unskimmed cow’s milk||Made from raw cow’s, sheep’s, or goat’s milk|
While blue cheese can come from different parts of the world including France, Spain, and the U.S., gorgonzola cheese is made in specific locations in Italy. These regions include Piedmont and Lombardy.
Without tasting either, both gorgonzola and blue cheeses look quite similar with blue veins running through the white cheese texture. The veins in gorgonzola tend to be longer than in other cheeses, and there is a slight difference in the marbling between sweet and spicy gorgonzola. Sweet gorgonzola has distinctly blue veining while spicy gorgonzola has more of a green-blue marbling.
Blue cheese is famous for its very salty, and sometimes acidic taste. It is more piquant, with a very sharp and appetizing flavor. Gorgonzola cheese, on the other hand, has a milder, milkier taste with a slight nuttiness and sweetness. It is often referred to as the mildest blue cheese, making it a great introduction for someone who has never tried any type of blue cheese.
Given its strong flavors, blue cheese has a matching odor that is pungent and robust. Gorgonzola cheese has a more muted smell.
Compared to other types of blue cheese, gorgonzola is generally softer. Both types of cheese can be crumbly, but some might describe gorgonzola to be almost buttery while blue cheese is firmer.
When it comes to nutrition, cheese can be good for you when consumed in moderation. Gorgonzola and blue cheeses both contain 100 calories per ounce, but the other aspects of their nutritional content vary slightly, as seen below:
Blue cheese (1 oz) [*]
- Calories: 100
- Carbohydrates: 0.67 grams
- Protein: 6 grams
- Fat: 8 grams
Gorgonzola cheese (1 oz) [*]
- Calories: 100
- Carbohydrates: 1 gram
- Protein: 5.99 grams
- Fat: 8.99 grams
Both cheeses are very similar with only minor differences. When choosing a healthy cheese, you may choose either of the two, although note that gorgonzola has slightly more fat per serving.
For those on a low-carb or a ketogenic diet, both cheeses may be suitable as they contain just about one gram of carbs or less. Both blue and gorgonzola cheeses have about the same amount of protein and good amounts of calcium.
Although they have some recognizable differences, blue and gorgonzola cheeses are similar and can be substituted for one another. Their attributes make them interchangeable in daily consumption and other culinary applications.
Blue cheese is more commonly used as a melt or spread and is served with burgers, sandwiches, fresh fruit and nuts, crackers, and others. It can even be infused in dips, dressings, and sauces. Blue cheese can also be eaten on its own.
Gorgonzola cheese is more often used as a melting topping for dishes like pizza, pasta, polenta, and risotto. It is sometimes used similarly to blue cheese, so you may use it as well on sandwiches and paired with fruits and nuts. Gorgonzola is also a great addition to salads.
There are significant differences in how these two cheeses are processed. The first thing to consider is what type of milk they are made from. Blue cheese is made from raw cow’s, sheep’s, or goat’s milk depending on where it is produced. Gorgonzola is often made using pasteurized, unskimmed cow’s milk.
To create blue cheese, raw milk from cows, sheep, or goats is first pasteurized. Cheesemakers then use a starter culture to acidify the milk, allowing it to change into a solid form. Rennet is added to further solidify the milk into curds, which are then cut and separated from the whey. The Penicillium glaucum mold is added with a bit of salt to prevent spoilage before aging for two to three months at a controlled temperature.
Gorgonzola cheese is produced similarly. It starts by heating unskimmed cow’s milk, which is then coagulated with culture and rennet. Similar to blue cheese, the curds are cut and the whey removed. The curds are drained to get rid of all the moisture before adding the same mold (Penicillium glaucum) and salt. Gorgonzola cheese is left for about three to four months in a cave with metal rods to encourage more mold to grow in the veins.
The Bottom Line
Whether you prefer the sharper and more pungent taste of blue or the milder, nuttier creaminess of gorgonzola, both types of cheese are excellent additions to any spread.
You can serve them as part of a charcuterie board during wine night or add them to a dessert selection after dinner.
Some people even prefer to munch on small amounts of these flavorful cheeses on their own. If you love snacking on cheese, then check out Käze Cheese Bites for a salty crunchy burst of flavor.