Monthly Archives: July 2012

Toast Post: Cravings for the Fourth of July-California’s San Joaquin Gold

San Joaquin Gold shaved onto toast

As the Beach Boys sang on a forgotten B-Side, “Wish they all could be California Cheese”.  And you will hum along too after a taste of the Fiscalini San Joaquin Gold from Modesto, CA.

It’s the salty buttery combo that is so seductive when balanced perfectly in a cheese and this one had me at first bite of this firm, aged wedge.  It will keep you captive well into a long, smooth finish.

In fact, I had to laugh at myself because I took a piece and held it up to my nose to get a sense of the aroma when suddenly it was gone! I ate it on impulse.  It was like holding a piece of ham up to my cat.

I’d better lay my cards on the table-you can’t get the San Joaquin Gold in Canada right now, but as many of us travel to the US I figured it might be a good one to enter into you TO DO list on the iPhone or Blackberry (or jot on a piece of paper that you will find 2 years from now in your denim capris).

Above is the label for your shopping reference.  You can see the cheese is farmstead, made from the milk of the Fiscalini’s own cows.  They are very proud that their milk standards exceed even the California State Standards and “cleaner” than organic.  The farm is animal welfare certified, environmentally certified and powered by renewable energy produced on-site.  This cheese is made from raw milk in 32 pound wheels and typically aged about 16 months.  The one I had was a bit older–from March 30, 2010.

The slightly “blueing” on the far edge of the cheese is simply a small crack where oxygen and natural bacteria snuck in. Nothing to worry about.

The cheese has a similarity to Parmigiano Reggiano and was originally created to be a Fontina-style product which ended up evolving into something rather unique.  The Fiscalini’s refer to the Joaquin Gold as their “Gold Medal Mistake” (winning Gold at the World Cheese Awards in London 2004/2005).  As it ages the cheese develops the tasty and crunchy tyrosine crystals and develops some toasted nutty notes.

Snack on it, grate it, melt it, travel with it.  This cheese is extremely versatile.

Fiscalini Clothbound Cheddar, 18 month–Fred Lum, The Globe and Mail

And while your mouth is watering you CAN get the amazing Fiscalini Clothbound Cheddar here in Canada (Sobey’s carries it).  For more details you can read my ravings in this Spread piece (because it really deserves to be raved about.).  Cheesemaker Mariano Gonzales, who honed his skills at Shelburne Farms in Vermont (where he created one of the first American clothbound cheddars) is responsible for the Fiscalini clothbound but credit for the San Joaquin’s creation goes to Tom Putler.

The San Joaquin gold is vegetarian friendly as it is made with a microbial rennet (and has a natural rind).  (The clothbound is also made with microbial rennet but rubbed with lard before being bandaged).

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Filed under Cheese/Cheese Related, Toast Posts, Travel and Food, Uncategorized

July 7–better than the Canada Day Long weekend (Farm, music, chefs) GROW FOR THE STOP FUNDRAISER

Better than the long weekend? Uh-huh.  In case you hadn’t heard, The New Farm’s 5th Annual Fundraiser for Grow For The Stop is happening this Saturday July 7.  Montreal band Stars will be performing amongst delicious, organic local food prepared by some of Ontario’s top chefs.  Here are the deets:
Saturday July 7th, 2012
Gates Open and Dinner: 5:30
Opening Band: 7:30
Stars Perform: 8:30
Admission: $45, plus eventbrite ticketing fees – http://www.eventbrite.ca/event/3540334235
Food and drink sold separately – cash sales

  • Rodney Bowers of Hey Meatball, Organic French Fries with Ketchup and Mayo
  • Chris Brown of The Stop Community Food Centre – Twin Creeks Grilled Pork Sausages with New Farm Cucumber Slaw
  • Kristin and Dan Donovan of Hooked – Fish Tacos served with Luis Valenzuela of Torito Tapas Bar’s Fresh K2 Milling Corn Tortillas
  • Matt Flett of Georgian College – New Farm Pulled Pork on Brick Street Bakery’s Artisanal Buns
  • Brad Long of Cafe Belong, New Farm Salad Greens and Spring Vegetables with Brown Butter Dressing
  • Giacomo Pasquini of Vertical Restaurant – Fenwood Grilled Chicken with Panzanella Salad
  • Aaron Bear Robe of Keriwa Cafe – New Farm Fried Green Tomatoes with Snap Pea Guacamole
  • John Sinopoli of Table 17 and Escari –  Spring Vegetable Frittata
  • Caesar Guinto of the soon to open, Creemore Kitchen – Heritage Grain Donuts with Sweet Beet Filling
  • Mapleton’s Organic Ice Cream
  • Ingredients distributed by 100km Foods Inc.
Bar Selections Generously Provided by:
  • Creemore Springs Brewery
  • Martini Bar by Tag Vodka with Local Flavours
  • Wine by Innisikillin
  • Organic, Fair Trade Coffee by Merchants of Green Coffee 
  • Cider by Avalon Orchards
  • Dairy by Organic Meadow 

  • The New Farm is a small diversified organic farm, near the Village of Creemore. Three years ago, The New Farm formed a partnership with The Stop Community Food Centre in Toronto, a wonderfully innovative and inspirational organization that works to increase access to healthy food in a manner that maintains dignity, builds community and challenges inequality. The New Farm does many things to support their work, including holding events on their farm that feature great music, dram and delicious food. They built a stage in their 100 year old bank barn and have had bands like Fred Eaglesmith, The Sunparlour Players and Elliott Brood perform. To date, The New Farm has raised over $50,000 for Grow for The Stop’s Food Program, where 100% of the money raised goes towards buying the best organic food grown in Southern Ontario for use in the Stop’s many programs and Foodbanks in Stayner and Collingwood.This year, The New Farm hopes to raise $25,000 on July 7th, with an event that will draw 500 people. The renowned Montreal Band, Stars will perform and this year, the event will showcase a variety of different food stations featuring a number of Ontario’s top chefs and restaurants.



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