Most Master Cheesemakers would be content to rest on their laurels after creating a host of award winning cheeses and being an integral part of a company like BelGioioso Cheese. Not Gianni Toffolon!
A few years ago, Gianni set out to create the next great cheese. He wanted to craft something that had amazing flavor and texture and was unlike anything else on the market. Gianni has been a cheesemaker for more than 40 years and really knows how to make great cheeses. He used all of his experience and tinkered around with mixing cultures and experimented with aging techniques to come up with a new, unique cheese. The result of his efforts is a cheese we named Artigiano (“Artisan”, in Italian). This new and exciting cheese is available in three varieties.
Artigiano Classico is carefully made to Gianni’s exacting standards. It takes 6 – 8 months of aging to achieve a flavor and aroma unlike any other cheese. The incredible crystalline texture sets it apart. It is a mixed culture cheese, which means the complex flavor lends itself to pairing well with many other foods and beverages. For that reason, we decided to see if we could add some flavor to the outside of the cheese. It was important that we used all natural ingredients for our flavorings.
Whenever you think about cheese pairings, you immediately think about wine. We partnered with a boutique winery that is owned by a friend of BelGioioso Founder, Errico Auricchio. They custom blend two of their award winning wines, Zinfandel and Merlot, for our Artigiano Vino Rosso (“Red Wine”). Once Artigiano Classico has aged to Gianni's satisfaction, we marinate it in this blend of wines until the flavors are perfectly balanced.
The flavoring for Artigiano Aged Balsamic and Cipolline Onion comes to us from Italy. We source our aged balsamic vinegar from Modena. The sweet cipolline onions come from Calabria. Both regions in Italy are famous for these ingredients. When you eat this cheese, you will first taste cheese, followed by the tangy vinegar and then the sweet cipolline. None of the 3 flavors overpowers the other.
Both the Artigiano Vino Rosso and the Aged Balsamic and Cipolline Onion wedges are flavored on 3 sides. After all, if you’re going to enjoy a flavored cheese, don’t you want flavor in every bite?
Gianni’s efforts have truly paid off. Only a Master of his caliber has the experience and palate to create a brand new cheese of this magnitude. No matter which variety of Artigiano you choose, you are in for a treat.