... Farmstead cheese, that is!
It's a kind of cheese that must be made with milk from the farmer’s own herd on the farm where the animals are raised.
I’ll just about go anywhere for this truly artisan product. With the outside temperature at 100 degrees to Orland, California, I went. It’s all about the entrepreneurial spirit and the passionate idea that a third generation dairyman along with his family can work together to make cheeses that reflect the time honored tradition of gouda with the uniqueness of their own beautiful herd.
Meet the Pedrozo family. Tim, the dairyman, with his wife, Jill and two children brought their heard of Jerseys and Holsteins to this small Northern California town purchasing an existing cheese factory in 1998. They learned how to make cheese and Jill began developing recipes that enhanced and built a larger selection. Tim is zealous about providing his grass-fed thirty cows (the smallest dairy in California) with the best pasture on their ranch. The whole family works to provide a product that they are very proud of. They take care of the cows, they do the milking and they all make the cheese.
The raw milk cheese is aged for at least 60 days and in some cases for six months. They keep a close eye on each variety as the weather makes a difference and can change the recipe. In the middle of this hot day they are thinking of the holiday season and preparing 20lb wheels all by hand.
Pedrozo Cheeses have several varieties including their Blondie’s Best named after their first cow who was a pet. The Northern Gold is buttery and is also blended with Garlic & Herb and Black Peppercorn flavors. The Stout Cow made with Sierra Nevada Stout and Tipsy Cow bathed in Petite Syrah are my current favorites. The Black Truffle is terrific and will be featured in the Williams Sonoma Christmas catalogue.
Tim is always at the Wednesday Market at Casear Chevez. I met his son, Tom at the Sunrise Farmers Market. He was so enthusiastic about his family’s business and proud of their work. It was a joy to meet a young person who relished his upbringing and looked to the future of their business.
The Pedrozo cheese can be found at the Sacramento Whole Foods, Taylor’s market and the Sacramento Food Co-Op.
P.S. It’s best served at room temperature!