The amazing cheese, San Joaquin Gold, was originally created by the Fiscalini Family, by mistake. Wow! Sit back with some wine and cheese and read this amazing story.
Mateo Fiscalini and his family emigrated from Switzerland to the United States through Ellis Island around 1886. Mateo gets a job working the railroad, which allows for him to work his way across the country to CA in search of his family who already settled in Cambria. Mateo eventually joins them and raises his family there.
In 1912, Mateo’s son, John Baptiste Fiscalini, who graduated from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo with a degree in irrigation, learns that the Don Pedro Dam will be built in Northern CA. He buys 160 acres in Modesto understanding that there will be open land, which he can irrigate and begin farming.
The start of Fiscalini cheese begins in 1914 when John Baptiste Fiscalini organizes a dairy farm with 10 milking cows. Four generations and 1,500 Holstein cows later, they are still making great cheese.
The Fiscalini Cheese Company has always held stewardship of the land as a top priority. In fact, more than three million dollars have been invested in a methane digester system that will help to reduce the 530 acre farm’s carbon footprint by recycling manure, whey and feed waste into electricity. The system produces sufficient electricity to power the dairy barn, where they milk 54 cows at a time, plus the 88,000 sq ft cheese plant. In addition to taking care of the electricity bill of $150 000/year there also will be enough electricity produced to sell back to the grid.
Fiscalini Cheese Company, known for their incredible Bandage Cheddar, similar to Flory’s Truckle, was looking to add a Fontina to their portfolio of cheeses and in their trial and error process they came up with this. Cheese entrepreneur John Fiscalini calls it a "gold medal mistake." Named after its birthplace in San Joaquin Valley this delightful “accident” of a cheese crosses that line between a great sharp Cheddar and Parmesan, both in flavor and in texture. Packed with fruity, nutty flavors and laced with a bunch of those crunchy little crystals that taste a bit like butterscotch and the finish….goes on forever. San Joaquin Gold is a balance between creaminess and salty tang. This is a perfect cheese for a fruit plate, grating, shaved on salads, or chunked up served alongside a bowl of roasted mixed nuts and a glass of wine.
Mildly sweet and mellow when young, this cheese develops a darker golden hue and is semi-hard with a natural rind with a sweet, salty, buttery taste. Its flesh is firm and granular with an aroma of toasted nuts and browned butter with a pleasant acidity and lovely sweetness.
The uniqueness of San Joaquin Gold impresses in both its flavor and texture. Made from unpasteurized milk from Fiscalini's own herd of 1,500 Holstein cows, it is a wonderful cheese for snacking, but can also be used as a topping for soups or salads. In addition, it grates well and melts easily. Use it on hot or cold sandwiches or as a Caesar salad garnish.
An award winner at the World Cheese Awards and American Cheese Society:
ACS - 2002 Silver
CA State Fair - 2003 - Gold
WCA - 2004 - Gold
WCA - 2005 - Gold
ACS - 2005 - Bronze
WCA - 2006 - Silver
ACS - 2008 - Gold
CA State Fair - 2009 - Silver
ACS - 2010 - Bronze
WCA - 2010 - Bronze
CA State Fair - 2010 - Gold
CA State Fair - 2010 - Best of Division
CA State Fair - 2012 - Bronze
CA State Fair - 2013 - Silver
CA State Fair - 2014 - Silver
CA State Fair - 2015 – Gold
See videos shot on site at Fiscalini Farms.