Tuesday, August 14, 2007

PTG STUDIOS FEATURES Fiscalini Cheese - PTG Studios

PTG Studios is pleased to announce the selection of Fiscalini Cheese for its innovative, educational television series, Great Taste. The company will be featured in a segment on “Holiday Cheeses and the Foods that Bring People Together.”

California is now producing high-quality gourmet cheeses to accompany the state’s exceptional wines. Award-winning Fiscalini Farmstead Cheeses, with a family history of more than 300 years of making cheese, is based in Modesto, CA, on a 530-acre dairy farm. The company is best known for its English-style clothbound cheddar and its signature San Joaquin Gold cheese (an American original) as well as for delicately flavored cheddars (Caraway, Dill, Garlic, Pepper, Sage, Saffron and Tarragon). Rarely is a bandage-wrapped cheddar produced in America that is capable of challenging the best cheddar in England. Now in its fifth year of production, Fiscalini Farmstead Cheese has won many awards in state, national and world competition.

In the late 1800’s, Mateo Fiscalini immigrated to the United States from Switzerland. Eventually settling in California, he became part of the state’s growing dairy industry. In 1914 his son John Baptiste Fiscalini established Fiscalini Farms, which now has 1400 Holsteins that provide the outstanding quality milk for the cheese.

Already recognized among his peers for his state-of-the-art dairy practices and the exceptionally high quality of milk, John Fiscalini became interested in continuing the artisan cheese tradition of his ancestors. Attending seminars and classes held by the California Milk Advisory Board and Cal State Polytechnic San Luis Obispo, he began to make his dream a reality. After visiting cheesemakers in Switzerland and Italy, John built the current cheese facility on the family-owned dairy, and began making his own hand-crafted cheese.

The cheese-making operation is housed in a dedicated facility at the dairy, where traditional cheese-making practices are utilized at every stage. Much like a cellar where fine wines age to maturity, the wooden racks of the cold room are filled with farmstead cheeses aging to perfection, anywhere from a few months to over two years. Their cheddar is white, as nature intended cheddar cheese to be. (Yellow and orange cheddars have been intentionally colored.)

Farmstead means: “Artisan-style cheeses made from milk obtained from animals located on the farm where the cheese is made.” Thus, Fiscalini Farms insure that they have “happy” well-cared-for cows so they can “control the entire process from beginning to end.” Indeed, Fiscalini’s dairy, which exceeds state and federal milk-quality standards for both conventional and organic dairies, was the first commercial dairy in the U.S. to receive animal-welfare certification. “It is our intention to make the best quality and most flavorful cheese possible, while holding a reverence for our cows and the land which produces our crops,” says John Fiscalini, “just as our ancestors did in Switzerland.”

Mariano Gonzalez, the “cheese maker,” creates the products with California milk and traditional English farmhouse aging methods. After the cheeses are produced, he ages them in a cheesecloth wrap instead of a plastic-wrapped package used by most other companies. Fiscalini’s cheddar is usually aged for about 18 months to 2 1/2 years. The company produces about 4,000 pounds of cheese per week.
Gift baskets are available for holidays and special occasions, in addition to regular cheese orders, and may be ordered online. For more information, please see http://www.fiscalinicheese.com.

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