25 November 2020

A Fiscalini Farmstead Trio

Cheesy greetings, gentle readers!

Out of Fiscalini Farmstead in Modesto, CA, this post brings us a California cheese trifecta. All raw cow milk, the Signature Sample Set offers an introduction to the fantastic fromage world of Fiscalini:

Fromage Du Mois has had previous dalliances with Fiscalini, and it was a privilege to finally sit down for a dedicated tasting of this producer (at home, of course). Chedda Gabler and Goudacris paired these cheeses with a French Sauvignon Blanc, some rosemary crackers, and a bit of smoked black cod. 


A "hand crafted Swiss alpine style cheese", initial reactions ranged from "smooth" to "agreeable": a cheese one could eat all day. If it were a beer, it would be sessionable. A perhaps too subtle beginning that didn't stand up to the flavors yet to come. Although pleasant, this cheese simply didn't pop in contrast to the others in this tasting. It was a good cheese to start with, though. With the wine pairing we observed reduced dryness, but otherwise minimal flavor change.

San Joaquin Gold

A striking cheese resembling stately, crumbling Greek marble of antiquity. Chedda's initial taste reaction: "Mmmmm, mmmm. Good. I like its nuttiness. It's like eating a stick of nutty butter in a really good way". I noted the pleasant saltiness in the afterglow that paired nicely with the peppery aftertaste of the 12 month aged Old World Cheddar. There was a roughness (almost dryness) that pushes you towards that glass of Sauvignon Blanc - which pairs tremendously with this cheese. The wine brings out the spice of the fromage, while the fromage, in turn, highlights the mineral notes of the wine.

Old World Aged Cheddar

As noted, all the cheeses were raw milk, making the Old World Aged Cheddar unlike most American made cheddars. What defines a cheddar, you might ask? It's the "cheddaring" or milling process used in production: the repeated cutting and piling of the curd. This cheddar is cloth bound in the English style (perhaps apparent from the name of the cheese). Older cheddar is better - and this cheddar clocks in at a cool 14 months old. 

Cheddar Fun Fact:

"Among the thousands of wedding gifts presented to Queen Victoria during the 1840 celebration of her nuptials to Albert was a mammoth 1,250-pound, 9-foot-diameter Cheddar, produced at a cooperative by cheesemakers from two villages. Perhaps baffled by how to serve it, she sent the cheese off on a tour of England. When attempts were made to return it to her, she refused to take it back." - Steven Jenkins, Cheese Primer

This cheese has a delightful tang and sharpness with a peppery after taste. This spice also played nicely with the wine (the pear notes really popped) - and the contrast with the San Joaquin gold was delightful. You'll want to taste these two cheeses back to back.

In the words of our guru, Steven Jenkins, "Serve cheddar anytime you feel like adding something wonderful to your life". 

Will do, Steven!

Les Duex Moulins Sauvignon Blanc

A wine that gives "tilting at windmills" a whole new meaning. An affordable, mellow bottle that pairs nicely with all three cheeses we tasted - with notes of fruit and minerality. Its profile change with the San Joaquin Gold and the Old World Cheddar was particularly fun and enjoyable. 

Until next time!

1 comment:

  1. Thank you Chedda Gabler and Goudacris for this interesting and savory post and also for rejuvenating FDM. We had been on a short hiatus and are glad to be back. I'm continuously impressed about the variety of ways that cheese-makers will play with the factors that go in to the classic cheddar. It seems that how long it is aged is central to the differing tastes; but add-ons using spices/flavors can also serve up different, rich experiences. Are readers interested in more discussions about wine/cheese pairings? If anyone is interested in sharing a post, please respond here as well.