Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese Company
The Giacomini family traces its roots to the mountainous terrain of northern Italy. In the early 20th century, Tobias Giacomini left Europe to settle in Northern California. A half-century later, his grandson, Bob, and Bob’s new wife, Dean, bought a farm near Tomales Bay and began raising Holstein cows and selling milk to a local creamery. Their herd grew from 150 to 500 by the mid-1990s, and the farm’s lush pastures are now certified organic. Bob and Dean had four daughters and, in 2000, the family launched the Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese Company, using its own milk to make its first cheese, Point Reyes Original Blue.
Made from raw milk and aged for six months, Original Blue is creamy and tangy with a medium punch of blue flavor, and a perfect balance of salt. The cheese’s rich, unique flavors are attributed to the high quality of the farm’s pastures and their proximity to the ocean. Original Blue is wonderful on a cheese plate, crumbled into a salad, or served alongside a grilled steak.
Bay Blue is the family’s newest cheese, a rustic blue with a thin natural rind and a dense, fudgy texture that smacks of Stilton. Its blue-green veins offer balanced flavors of fruit and nuts, while the buttery paste has a sweet, caramel finish. Bay Blue is perfect on a burger or stirred into a rich risotto, or as an after-dinner cheese course alongside a glass of Port, a few sliced pears or a handful of dried figs.
Toma is one the Giacominis’ newest cheeses. It is reminiscent of a young Asiago, with flavors of butter, grass and a mild lactic tang. It is perfect for snacking or melting into a grilled cheese sandwich. A highly versatile cheese, it is also lovely paired with ripe stone fruit, honey, toasted nuts, hoppy beers or even a sip of Scotch.
Lorelei from Briar Rose Creamery
Colston Bassett Stilton from Neal's Yard Dairy
Fresh Sheep Cheese from Bellwether Farms
Varzi Salami from Creminelli Fine Meats