Festivals such as the Sagra del Gorgonzola, spanning over two taste luscious days, September 19th & 20th, allow for the history and culture of Gorgonzola to surface. The annual festival was a look into the personality and cuisine of the city. I left with the awareness that it’s not the only food, but also the people that make cities full of taste.
The festival began with culture, history and of course, food. This was the 17th annual festival, which is always the third weekend of September. This year it was significant because of EXPO 2015 and fits into the theme of “Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life”.
Guided by Flavio Riboli, Secretary of the Territorial Association of Gorgonzola for Confcommercio, whose mission is to defend the local merchants within higher levels of the government in the 8 communities that make up the Gorgonzola region, along with Nicolas Rigamonti with Confcommercio as well as the owner of Podere Casale.
Stops at franchises along the way included:
The process of making Gorgonzola is embedded in the history of the city. Thanks to the Gorgonzola Preservation Trust, Gorgonzola cheese has become the most exported cheese after Grana Padano. During the XV century breeders from Bergamo, called Bergamini, began to take their cattle to the Basso Milanese during the winter months, contributing to the agricultural development of this area. Here a mild climate and the presence of canals fostered the growth of big quantities of fodder.
For a few days in early autumn, a great quantity of milk was produced in Gorgonzola. The need to process it on the spot in changeable conditions created a production mistake that caused the typical greenish-blue marbling found in Gorgonzola cheese. The different densities of cow milk caused the formation of air spaces that resulted in the greenish-blue marbling.
Today, Gorgonzola is made in Novara where the mixture of hot and cold curd in put in a pan made with wood and sits for 40 days.
Along the tour, architectural sites of merit included:
- The parish church of Santi Protasio e Gervasio from the early 19th century
- The 18th century Sola-Cabiati Palace
- The Serbelloni Hospital
- Bridge of Gorgonzola, which is mentioned in Manzoni’s famous novel, Promessi Sposi, where the main character passes by.
As October is the final month of ExpoinCittà we must remember the final theme; believe. Believe in the new opportunities which surround us everyday, be aware that just because something is well known does not mean it isn’t well discovered, just like Gorgonzola. Such is the reason Milano is the place to be.