Fiscalini Bandaged Cheddar is our Californian today, hailing from Modesto and crafted by Mariano Gonzalez (previously of Shelburne Farms in Vermont) and his team of cheese-makers. It is considered one of the only raw-milk American crafted cheddars that can really stand up to the English greats -- a superstar award winning cheese. Crafted in sixty pound wheels that have been bound and aged in cheese cloth for approximately eighteen months if not more. Firm with a light hay / straw color, it is nutty, buttery, rustic, farmy, and barnyardy, with light smokey notes, hints of crystallization and a classic cow's milk round full mouth feel. It is a very versatile pairing partner -- bigger red wines such as Cabernet work wonderfully as do sweet wines or even a nice big beer.
And what of our Spaniard this week?
How about Mahon? Hailing from the Spanish island of Menorca, this six month aged cow's milk cheese delights! Biting and forceful for all the right reasons, this is a cheese that is farmsteady and barnyardy yet silky and very smooth, crumbly, nutty and fantastic, this cheese can tango with its European siblings , that's for sure.
Stay tuned for a recap next week.
Good night all~