Gorgonzola piccante or naturale or Mountain Gorgonzola is the older brother of the Gorgonzola Dolce. The gourmet Gorgonzola piccante has a thicker and dryer rind than the younger Gorgonzola. Also the interior, the paste, of the Gorgonzola picante is whiter and the veins are darker and bluer.
The flavor is piquant and spicy, with wood mold and mushrooms, and a bite that gently hits the tongue. The aroma is perhaps stronger than the flavor and an almost alcoholic tang comes from the washed rind.
There are many tales about the origin of this great cheese from Lombardy but until the early twentieth century it was known simply as 'stracchino' or 'stracchino verde' - a cheese made from the milk of cattle tired from their long spring and fall treks to and from the Alpine pasture.