Friday, January 29, 2010

Pt. Reyes Farmstead Cheese Company - The Blues are going Green!

I picked up some Pt. Reyes blue at the grocery store last summer, and it created a creamy, salty, pungent base for a delicious steak salad.  It was one of the first blues I sampled as an official cheese head, and it definitely created the impetus for me to go out and boldly try all kinds of blue cheese.  Since then, I've introduced y'all to many of the stars in a world where the moon is, in fact made of blue cheese.

With my new Friday series highlighting some of my favorite cheesemakers (and my incredibly dull Wednesday night class allowing me time to do the internet research that I need...), I've started cruising the state cheesemaker organization websites.  Since I'm a Cali girl (omigod!  fer sher!), I've started at the California Artisan Cheese Guild.  They have a great list of California dairies, and a map of where all of these good people live, work, and care for the beasties that provide the raw materials for our favorite food.  Sadly for me, almost all of these guys live in Northern California, while I alternately bake and drown in Los Angeles.

So anyway - Pt. Reyes Farmstead Cheese Company.  The Giacomini family has owned and operated this dairy, milking cows since 1959 and started making cheese in 2000.  The ranch is located on the hills overlooking Tomales Bay in Marin County.  These are the epitome of happy California cows!  They've got a beautiful view.  It never gets too hot.  Their tasty grass is nicely salted by the morning dew coming off the bay.  You can taste all this joy in every crumble.

The Giacomini's have always been focused on their all natural production, but according to the "fun facts" section of the Artisan Cheese Guild, they have taken it to a whole new level.  And I quote, "Original Blue Cheese is now Green!  (Oh no, I thought for a split second!)  The production facility is fuled entirely by the methane gas that rises from the farm's collected cow's manure - delivering on the Giacomini's commitment to sustainability."   I'm not sure if they are totally off the grid yet like the Lazy Lady, but what a great start.  

I'd love to see that facility!  I'm imagining a giant pile of poo in a storage room with some pipes in the ceiling and a bunch of fans directing the stinky air into a processing room where the lights shine bright, and the workers are always smiling (because of their awesome personal ventilators!).  Must do more research.  Especially with the concerns about greenhouse gasses and global warming, the fact that these guys are helping protect their little corner of paradise.

Here's to the happy cows at Pt. Reyes Farmstead Cheese Company and their very clever keepers!  Way to go Bessie!  Keep it up!

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