Gorgonzola is a POD product (Protected Designation of Origin) under EU law, which means it can only be produced in the northern Italian regions of Piedmont and Lombardy.
Gorgonzola is one of the blue cheese with the signature blue veining, thanks to the mold Penicillium glaucum. That brings us a good question, is gorgonzola supposed to be moldy?
Yes, gorgonzola is a mold-infested product, just like other blue cheese.
But hey, it’s safe to eat! ha
During the aging process (usually 2-3 months), there are various types of good mold/bacteria growing on the rind of gorgonzola. The operators will scrap off the mold on the surface before packing.
Ew, I know right..
But it is safe to eat, don’t worry. Most of the certified cheesemakers are operated under stringent sanitary rules. Which one you asked? This one I loved the most, highly recommended.
Back to the title question, how long does it last?
Normally, gorgonzola lasts for 2-3 weeks if proper refrigerated under 37° F. Once opened, the shelf-life reduced to 1 week or less. As the contamination may happen after exposure, you should finish the cheese within 3-5 days. If your gorgonzola has gone past the expiry date, you should discard the cheese.
Sounds like 100% official response, I’ll give you a “friendlier” version below.
By the way, read my comparison of Parmesan vs Gorgonzola here.
How to know if it’s bad?
The idea is, gorgonzola is a semi-soft cheese. Two-months-old is much softer than the three-months-old gorgonzola. The longer it aged, the harder it gets.
And the semi-soft cheese (like feta or cream cheese) means higher moisture, and therefore a better place for germs.
So, how’s the fresh gorgonzola should look & taste like?
The perfectly matured gorgonzola should have a delicious taste of sweetness, strong and sharp aroma, mild, creamy, salty, decent nutty, buttery, and a slight of crumbly.
The gorgonzola which gone bad has a few characteristics:
- Spotted mold/bacteria of all kind — black/grey/white/yellow/pink mold with a various structure like dots or fuzz growing on the surface.
- Smell/taste unnaturally sour, rancid, putrid odor, ammonia, chemical-like, vomit, and overly stinky feet-like smell (may get confused to umami taste).
- Melted, wet and slimy.
Why does gorgonzola cheese stink?
The nature of gorgonzola comes with a bit sourness, or stinky smell, some say.
It is due to the mold and bacteria naturally present in the cheesemaking process, and also the cow’s milk. As we discussed earlier here, some of these mold/bacteria responsible for the unique taste.
And frankly, these bacteria can also be found in our feet or private area.
Thus the smell…
But hey, at least gorgonzola tastes great!
So, the mold gorgonzola still safe to eat?
So, let’s say your gorgonzola has accidentally stored for a while now, and you find some weird looking mold growing on it.
The right mind for semi-soft cheese is to always throw them away instead of eating. The chances is these microscopic bad boys were already spread through the whole cheese area.
Unlike hard cheese like parmesan, gorgonzola is not supposed to “cut off at least 1 inch below” as suggested by some people. Once you find them contaminated (not the kind of look you have them earlier), we can’t really tell if it was good or bad germs in there, so you should just discard the whole cheese instead of risking to get food poisoning.
And get a new one, i got the Amazon link for you right there picture below.
See how i compare the gorgonzola vs parmesan here.
Be noted tho, cheesemaking and storing is operated under a controlled environment. So, the mold is selectively added for the purpose. Improper storing will also increase the histamine level, especially those who has histamine intolerance read this.
For instance, you may accidentally touch the stored cheese, cut with uncleaned knife, or frequent open/close the fridge which causes fluctuation in temperature.
There are thousand of factors to make your gorgonzola go bad.
Expiration date / Best-by date
For the same reason, you should not eat them if past the expiry date. As gorgonzola can’t be brined like mozzarella or feta, it’s not for longevity and doesn’t naturally last long.
If you still like to use them past the date, you should do a quick check on the appearance to look for any visible mold. If yes, discard the cheese.
Never look back, cool guy don’t look at explosion.
Otherwise, use them only in high-heat cooking like soup.
People are also suggesting to freeze the cheese in the freezer. It will work ideally, but freezing and thawing process will inevitably destroy some of the good protein & nutrient structure, as well as compromising the excellent taste of gorgonzola.
Once thawed, there is also an increase of moisture as well, finish them in 2-3 days or ASAP.
Never freeze your cheese unless you have no better option.
How to store your gorgonzola properly?
If you have too much gorgonzola and would like to store some for later, here is what you should do.
Use a clean knife and make sure that your hands are sanitized before handling. Salt the surface of gorgonzola with a pinch of kosher salt (here if you do not have). Wrap the cheese with a plastic wrap, parchment paper, wax paper or baking paper. Then, keep it in an airtight container and seal. If done properly, the cheese should be able to store a couple of weeks or longer.
Meanwhile, try not to add more or cut a small piece of cheese then place back, finish it in one go to reduce contamination.
Less often but some smaller and older dairy may still use the unpasteurized cow milk — the cheese will go bad much quicker. As a general rule of thumb, moldy cheese means not safe to eat.
Under no circumstances that the gorgonzola you brought home, which later grew mold on it (even refrigerated) will still 100% safe for your family to consume.
Hey, I put up a list of brands here to discuss the pasteurisation in feta, and which one is safer.