Grateful to our Community

Our hearts go out to all those this week affected by the California fires.

It’s always heart-warming to see community to come out to support each other; from opening homes to evacuees, to finding room for livestock (yes!) and feeding those who are hungry.

We are grateful to the firefighters and all that helped during this time. As of Thursday, the Kincaide Fire was 60% contained. May Southern CA be on the mend soon as well.

Support local businesses that were affected by the fires as much as you can! Many of them had to stop operations for a period of time.

Cheese & Wine Ice Cream

Find Wine & Cheese Ice Cream in Humphry Slocombe shops starting Nov. 4 – Nov. 30

Sonoma County, CA (Oct. 15, 2019) — Celebrate two of NorCal’s favorite flavors when California’s original goat cheese creamery teams up with another California creamery known for its outrageous ice cream flavors and creative collaborations. Sonoma goat cheese producer Laura Chenel and celebrated sparkling wine producer Domaine Carneros join Humphry Slocombe to launch an exclusive new flavor for the San Francisco ice creamery’s November edition of the 2019 Classic Cocktail Series.

Humphry Slocombe Co-Founder Jake Godby brings his unorthodox ice cream alchemy to Wine & Cheese Ice Cream. The flavor is a part of a year-long boozy series showcasing special flavors inspired by classic cocktails.  This creation features Laura Chenel Original Chef’s Chevre® ice cream with swirls of Domaine Carneros Pinot Noir sorbet mixed in — a combination that will transport you to wine country.  This is the first flavor collaboration with Laura Chenel and the third flavor collaboration with Domaine Carneros, the others being Cherry Fizz in 2018 and Rosé all Day Sorbet in 2017.

Laura Chenel Original Chef’s Chevre is the smooth, creamy go-to goat cheese for chefs nationwide. Handcrafted with fresh goat milk from family-owned farms in the American West and boasting better digestibility than cow’s milk cheese, Laura Chenel Chef’s Chevre has the classic tangy flavor of fresh goat cheese with a spreadable texture perfect for melting into sauces and whipping into cheesecake or — in this case — ice cream.

Iconic, irreverent and fearless when it comes to flavor development, Humphry Slocombe is famous for churning out unusual and creative flavor collaborations with high-profile brands such as Emmy-winning show Queer Eye (Cookies + Graham); Virgin Atlantic (Butter by Moonlight with brown butter and blueberry glaze); San Francisco Brewing Co. (Dynasty Stout); and Chef Melissa King and Whole Foods Market (Mango Mojito). Its signature (and enduringly popular) flavor, Secret Breakfast, features bourbon ice cream with cornflakes.

Laura Chenel CEO Eric Barthome says his company is excited to collaborate with two complementary top-quality Northern California brands doing something fun and unusual with products that symbolize the exceptional character of the Bay Area.

“Wine & Cheese Ice Cream celebrates the Bay Area’s terroir and craft with iconic Laura Chenel goat cheese from Sonoma County and the Carneros[1] based Domaine Carneros Pinot Noir which are sure to be an outstanding combination with Humphry Slocombe’s expertise,” says Barthome.

“With all respect to peanut butter and chocolate, I think wine and cheese is the original ‘two great tastes that taste great together’ and that in the form of ice cream is unique and delicious,” says Jake Godby, co-founder and chef at Humphry Slocombe.

“I am a huge fan of dessert, and working with Humphry Slocombe over the years has been a great excuse to indulge my weakness and share it with our loyal fans,” states Eileen Crane, CEO of Domaine Carneros.   “I’m particularly excited about the daring quality of this new flavor.  We grow multiple clones of Pinot Noir on all our single vineyards and this promises to be a sheer delight.”

Starting Nov. 4, Wine & Cheese Ice Cream is available by the scoop and hand-packed pints at all Humphry Slocombe scoop shops including the Ferry Building and Mission District shops in San Francisco, The Hive in Oakland and the College Avenue shop in Berkeley. Look for it by the pint at the Domaine Carneros chateau. Available online at GoldBelly.  

About Laura Chenel

Laura Chenel introduced a new chapter in American cheese in 1979 when she started making farmstead goat cheese with milk from her own goats using techniques she learned in France. 

Today, Laura Chenel still embodies its founding namesake’s pioneering spirit as a leading producer of fresh and aged goat cheeses and goat yogurts crafted with fresh goat’s milk from family-owned farms in California, Oregon, Nevada and Idaho. Located in the heart of Sonoma County, Laura Chenel is the first creamery in the U.S. to be awarded the prestigious LEED Gold certification and its commitment to sustainable practices, including solar energy and recycling, is helping preserve the terroir for generations to come. 

For more information, visit us at LauraChenel.com or follow along on Instagram or Facebook @LauraChenel

About Humphry Slocombe

Rebellious and unapologetic, Humphry Slocombe’s ice cream has its own personality and flavors that appeal to adult tastes but is loved by all. Humphry Slocombe has almost 300K followers on social media and was recently named one of “San Francisco’s Most Delicious Instagram Accounts” by 7X7 Magazine. It has also attracted attention from the national press including feature articles in The New York Times Magazine and Bon Appétit and several television appearances, such as the “Top 5 Ice Creams in America” spot by Food Network.

Welcome to the bizarre, delicious, frozen universe of Humphry Slocombe.


For more ice cream updates and news, visit us at www.humphryslocombe.com or follow along on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter @humphryslocombe.

About Domaine Carneros

Founded in 1987, Domaine Carneros reflects the hallmark of its founder, Champagne Taittinger, in creating a vision of terroir-driven sparkling wine while preserving the quality tenets of the traditional method production.  Located entirely within the Carneros AVA, between Napa and Sonoma Valleys, the six estate vineyards total approximately 400 acres with 125 acres planted to Chardonnay, 225 acres planted to Pinot Noir, with the remaining acres currently in development. The winery focuses on making ultra-premium Carneros sparkling wines and limited production Pinot Noirs.

Domaine Carneros’ château has become a landmark and symbol of the region. The architecture and interior design were inspired by the 18th century Château de la Marquetterie, the Taittinger family residence in the Champagne region.  The winery also places a high value on preserving the environment and has farmed sustainably since the late 1980s. The roof of the pinot noir winery adjacent to the château hosts a solar array that was the largest on any winery in the world when it was installed. Eileen Crane, CEO & Founding Winemaker, has overseen 31 harvests at the château and in 2018 celebrated the 20th anniversary of the release of the winery’s luxury cuvée, Le Rêve Blanc de Blancs.  

For more information, visit: www.domainecarneros.com

Instagram: @domainecarneros

Facebook: @domainecarneroswinery

Twitter: @domainecarneros

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MEDIA CONTACTS:

For Laura Chenel: Deborah Kwan

deborah@dkprfood.com or 415.948.4370

For Domaine Carneros: Kimberly Charles

kcharles@charlescomm.com or 415.701.9463

For Humphry Slocombe: Emel Shaikheshaikh@js2pr.com or 323.866.0880 x110

Pedrozo Dairy & Creamery

I love talking to Tim Pedrozo about the issues of small dairies. Because he’s a dairyman and I grew up on a dairy and manage a farm. We’re both looking for solutions.

Cows grazing at Pedrozo Dairy and Creamery

I’d been meaning to visit Tim’s farm for years. I finally made it. I didn’t know what to expect, but what I saw was so – dare I say it – delightful. Tim and his family have collected an assortment of different breeds of cows. And there are just a handful. Maybe 25. And they wander around right outside their home.

Tim takes care of the cows. His son Tom makes the cheese. His daughter Laura does the marketing. His wife Jill works both off the farm and on.

The Pedrozo Family with one of their award-winning cows.

The cheese is fabulous. It’s raw, tasty and great to eat on its own or in recipes. As a matter of fact, while celebrating Raw Milk Cheese Day, they had a crockpot full of homemade Mac ‘n Cheese that was to die for.

The Pedrozos show their cattle at various fairs, often winning top honors. A couple of times a year, they open their farm where you can get up close with the cows and buy wheels of cheese at a very reasonable price. They also ship cheese direct to your door.

Pedrozo Dairy and Creamery is located in Orland, in the north Central Valley, near Chico. I enjoyed my visit. You can stop by yourself during the Sierra Oro Farm Trail Passport Weekend on October 12th and 13th.

If you have a chance, pick up some of their cheese at your local store. Check where it’s sold HERE.

Sign at Pedrozo Dairy and Creamery

Abroad: The Cotswolds

Welcome to our Abroad series, where we document our encounters with cheese and cheesemakers on our travels!

Here at the California Cheese Trail, our heart and soul is California. We’re proud of our dairy farmers and cheese makers. That is why we created the Cheese Trail to support them.

But once in awhile, travel takes us to far out places and we encounter cheeses from abroad. Here is our newest series to our blog, where we document our travels!

Our Abroad Series

Hi, I’m Philip. If you don’t know me, I’m the official sidekick here at the California Cheese Trail.

This past summer I had the opportunity to travel to Europe for two weddings. The itinerary included the United Kingdom, Spain and France!

My first stop was the the Cotswolds in the United Kingdom.

As I did some research before the trip I realized there are some great cheeses from the region as well as cheese shops. I made sure to make time to try the local cheeses.

The Cotswolds

The Cotswolds is an area in the UK that is famous for its charming and quaint English towns and villages built from golden yellow brown stones. If you are into nature and hiking, you will also find the Cotswold Way National Trail which is a 102 mile long footpath that traverses though the whole area.

Picturesque to cut the story short. Back to cheese.

I was more than excited to find out about the Cotswold Cheese Co. They have several shops in the Cotswolds: Burford, Moreton-in-Marsh, Cheltenham and Stow-on-the-Wold. Founded in 2006, it was acquired by Jon and Lisa Goodchild in 2010. They stock more than 120 different artisan and farmhouse cheeses.

I was able to sample a bunch of the cheeses and took home some “Rollright” from King Stone Dairy (a washed rind soft cheese banded in spruce bark) and Cerney’s “Ash” (a goat cheese hand coated with a oak ash and sea salt mix).

I also learned that there is a cheese named after the region. The Cotswold cheese is a variation of the Double Gloucester which is made from cow’s milk and has chopped onions and chives added to it. It is one of the more popular pub cheeses in England.

There is nothing quite like walking around the town and stopping by the local cheese shop for a snack!

Kim, the cheesemonger at the Stow-in-the-Wold location kindly informed me that there were some local cheesemakers nearby, but unfortunately my schedule didn’t let me fit a visit in. There is always next time!

If you plan on visiting the United Kingdom, I highly recommend spending a couple of days in the Cotswolds.

The area has everything you need for a vacation: great scenery, charming towns and cheese!

Next up on “Abroad”, I head to Spain and the south of France to find more cheese.

Cheers!

Fiscalini Cheese

An American original with Swiss roots.

The year is 1886, when Mateo Fiscalini emigrates from Switzerland with his family. First finding work on the railroad, he eventually settles all the way west in Cambria, California.

In 1912, Mateo’s son, John Baptiste Fiscalini, a graduate from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, purchases 160 acres of land in Modesto. Two years later he starts a dairy farm with ten cows.

By 1995, two generations later, the Fiscalini farm has a large herd of Holstein cows. And in 2001, John Fiscalini, the grandson of John Baptiste, who has dreamt of making cheese, is introduced to Mariano Gonzalez, master cheddar-maker from Paraguay. Mariano develops a bandage-wrapped cheddar, sweeping up many awards, and giving British cheeses a run for their money.

Today, Fiscalini Cheese produces award-winning cheeses with the knowledge and spirit of four generations of family behind them. And, best of all, you can visit them.

Stop by their farm and creamery (yes, the cows are right there!) to pick up cheese in their front office. If you feel like making it a bigger cheese journey, Fiscalini can be just one of your stops on the Central Valley Cheese Loop #1.

This month you can find Fiscalini’s San Joaquin Gold on promotion at Whole Foods Market in Northern California. San Joaquin Gold is an Italian-style, semi-hard cheese made from raw cow’s milk. It is named after the beautiful San Joaquin valley where it is made.

Jenny MacKenzie of Tomales Farmstead Creamery

Original Interview by Hilary Green, ACS CCP at Marin Co. Monger

Jenny MacKenzie in the barn at Tomales Farmstead Creamery. Photo Courtesy Jenny MacKenzie

Four miles inland from the mighty Pacific ocean, a small Marin County dairy is making some of the best cheese in America. Tomales Farmstead Creamery is a 160-acre sheep and goat dairy in Tomales, California. Founded in 2003, owners Tamara Hicks and David Jablons dedicated four years to the restoration of the land, and after careful coordination with sustainable land management organizations, the farm became an Animal Welfare Approved goat and sheep dairy in 2007.

This year, Tomales Farmstead won second in its category at the American Cheese Society conference for Atika– a sheep and goat blended cheese with a beautiful, basket-weave natural rind. At the helm (or vat, as it were) for this winning batch: assistant cheesemaker Jenny MacKenzie. In my quest to better understand the world of West Marin cheese producers, I reached out to Jenny for an interview this month. Jenny is an East coast transplant with a love of cheese and sustainable agriculture. What’s the story of a micro-dairy cheesemaker whose work wins a national award? Continue below for Jenny’s story!


August 26, 2018

Marin Co. Monger: What brought you to the world of sustainable agriculture?

Jenny MacKenzie:  I started making cheese in 2014 on a very small, farmstead goat dairy, Appleton Creamery, in Appleton, ME. Working on such a a small farm and being surrounded by other types of small organic/sustainable/diverse farms at the farmer’s markets where we sold cheese really sparked my interest in sustainable agriculture. After attending the Common Ground Country Fair in Unity, ME that same year I really fell in love with small sustainable farms. Just being immersed in agriculture and learning the harms it can cause but being fortunate to see how it can be done correctly with little to no impact was so fascinating to me. I really don’t see why anyone would want to farm any other way!

To read the rest of the article visit Marin Co Monger

Hilary Green, ACS CCP

Retrospective 2018 Part 2: San Francisco Cheese Festival

What happened last fall, will happen again! Each year at the San Francisco Cheese Festival cheesemakers and cheese eaters gather to support the California Artisan Cheese Guild, a nonprofit for the California artisan cheese making community.

There’s music, dancing, wine and chatter. Both new and iconic cheeses are unveiled and tasted. It’s tasty, hip and fun. Below are a few photos of the cheesemakers (and cheese eaters!) who attend.

It’s good vibes all night. Can’t wait until next year!

Anje – San Francisco Resident

Cheese Eaters at the SF Cheese Fest
Cheese Eaters at the SF Cheese Fest
Nicasio Valley Cheese
Folly Cheese Co
Cowgirl Creamery
Tomales Farmstead
Achadinha Cheese Co
WM Cofield Cheesemakers
Orland Farmstead
Central Coast Creamery
Rumiano Cheese
Stuyt Dairy Farmstead Cheese

If you haven’t attended before, you’ll have another chance this fall. Get your name on an email list HERE.

Discovering Organic Cheese  

When was the last time you searched out organic cheese and what is it? And which cheesemakers in California make organic cheese?

Organic certification of cheese comes down to the animals, the ingredients and the method of processing; all overseen by the USDA National Organic Program. 

Animals must be raised without the use of antibiotics or hormones. All feed must be certified organic (organic pastures, and no pesticides or genetically engineered feeds). Animals must be allowed access to outdoors, including shade and sunlight, clean and dry bedding, and space for exercise (amount of access and pasture required is outlined and determined by region).  

If an animal is sick and antibiotics are the only solution to save the animal, organic regulations require that you save the animal, but then remove it from your organic herd. If this happens, farmers then sell their milk as conventional, or more likely, sell the animal itself.

 

The ingredients must all be certified organic as well. That includes both the milk and the enzymes (which create the curds). Chymosin, the ingredient produced naturally in the lining of a ruminant’s stomach and solidifies the milk and creates curds, is available as a genetically engineered ingredient. This genetically engineered enzyme is the most commonly used enzyme in cheesemaking.  As it is genetically engineered, it is not allowed in organic cheese. If you care about that, and you’re not sure if your cheese contains a genetically engineered ingredient, contact the company to inquire. Or, simply purchase organic cheese.

In processing, only cleaning agents that do not leave a residue are allowed to touch equipment or ingredients.

California organic cheesemakers include Cowgirl Creamery, Nicasio Valley Cheese, Organic Pastures and Spring Hill Jersey Cheese. Rumiano and Sierra Nevada also have organic lines of cheese. 

Organic cheese sales grew 15% a year between 2012 and 2015 and are now estimated to be around $570 million annually.

Want organic cheese? Look for the USDA Organic label. Questions about organic cheese?  Just ask!

 

 

How to Store Your Cheese

You just ate a bit of the cheese you brought home from the store. But what do you do with the rest?

First thing to know is, your cheese is ALIVE! Not like a scary monster, but essentially it does need to breathe. That’s why wrapping that leftover piece in plastic cling wrap is not such a great idea. You don’t want to suffocate it.

The best thing to do is wrap it in Formaticum paper, wax or parchment paper (wax paper is cheapest, so that’s what I use). Then you can actually put some plastic wrap over it OR put it in a plastic tub with a lid.  That way it is wrapped to keep it moist but also has air to breathe. This method works for both hard and soft cheeses. Then pop it in the vegetable drawer (the veggies provide a little moisture).

If your cheese starts to seem a bit dry, wrap it in a damp cloth (a clean one!) and place in a plastic tub. And if it’s too moist, then it just needs a bit more air.  

Keep stinky or blue cheeses wrapped and stored separately.

And, of course, if you have a fresh cheese like cottage cheese or cream cheese, leave it in the tub you bought it in, and re-seal it.  

If it’s a fresh mozzarella, change the water in it every couple of days.

The main thing to remember is to buy only as much cheese as you can eat in a week. Once cheese is cut into, like a wedge or a slice, it’s exposed to other bacteria in your fridge or air, and begins to degrade. So buy less, and eat more!

Next Blog: What to do about Cheese Mold