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Fiscalini Cheese racks up another major award

Jose Alderete, left, and Jordan LaCoste process cheese at Fiscalini Cheese Co. in Modesto on Tuesday.
Jose Alderete, left, and Jordan LaCoste process cheese at Fiscalini Cheese Co. in Modesto on Tuesday. aalfaro@modbee.com

Fiscalini Cheese Co., a noted producer in the Modesto area, once again has taken home a major award from London.

It was one of 18 trophy winners at the World Cheese Awards, which drew nearly 2,600 entries for its 2014 competition.

Fiscalini won the trophy for best mature traditional cheddar with its Bandage Wrapped Cheddar, aged for 18 months at its Kiernan Avenue plant. It also was one of 62 recipients of super gold scores from the judges.

“It is one of the first cheeses we started making, and it has been a consistent winner at some of these award shows,” said General Manager Brian Fiscalini, son of founders John and Heather Fiscalini.

The same product, overseen by master cheesemaker Mariano Gonzalez, won super gold in 2011 and gold and a trophy in 2007.

“Bandage” refers to the cloth that encloses the cheese during aging. “It’s got a sharp cheddar flavor, and I’ve heard it described as nutty,” Fiscalini said.

Gonzalez, in a Modesto Bee story about the 2011 award, said a crucial part is “cheddaring,” in which blocks of curds are piled on each other to drive out moisture.

The cheese can be purchased at www.fiscalinicheese.com at $12 for an 8-ounce package, plus shipping costs. Many grocers carry Fiscalini products.

It is a farmstead cheese producer, meaning that the milk comes from the dairy farm that has been in the family since 1914. The farm employs 25 people, and 13 work at the cheese plant, which started in 2000.

Another producer in the region, Joseph Farm Cheese of Atwater, won a bronze in London for its reduced-fat Monterey jack.

Bee staff writer John Holland can be reached at jholland@modbee.com or (209) 578-2385.

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