January 11, 2007

Say Cheese!

In a fitting continuation of the Californian Celebration of the week, I can heartily recommend that you all go try:

San Joaquin Gold.

$10 for a big old chunk of the wheel. 16-month aged cow's milk cheese. Salty. Sharp. Somewhere between fontina and manchego in terms of taste with a nice dry but not too-dry aged parmigiano texture -- excellent for ribbon grating over home-made Tuscan bean soup, if I do say so myself.

If I was blind-folded I'd guess Spain or Italy as the Country of origin. But no. California. Despite the naysayers, and its history of shoddy product, the heart of the San Joaquin Valley can make artisanal food products that rival Europe in quality (and kick its ass in price (after importing)). And when it does, we should all embrace it!


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