Fagundes Farmstead Smoked Jack – Guest Review

March 19, 2010

I have often mentioned The Man’s BFF, Gary… and in this case it really is BFF – they have been friends for fifty years – now that’s what this Feline Foodie calls a life-long friend. They are lucky to have been friends for so long…

Gary currently is on a journey to find the perfect smoked cheese, a journey that has been facilitated on occasion by The Lady. She has sent him the wonderful Goudas from Washington State’s Appel Farms which she sells on the cheese island. He sent her a slice of Maple Leaf Smoked Gouda that he picked up last year on a trip that included a stop at the Rogue Creamery in Central Point, Oregon.

Another journey that Gary and his lovely bride, Nancy, enjoy is exploring the local Farmer’s Market of SoCal where they have lived most of their lives. Nancy is an HR Guru, well-known in her field, and sometimes her career has taken them to other parts of the States but like the swallows, they always return to the warm climes of the Southern Left Coast.

Recently Gary and Nancy were exploring the Irvine Farmer’s Market, which is located just across the street from the campus of UC Irvine and Gary came across a smoked Jack that caught his eye and he bought a wedge.  Gary sent her a picture he took of the cheese in its packaging and his thoughts. Before we post his review here, The Lady and I decided to explore and find out what we could about Fagundes and we were quite impressed. Gary, you made an excellent choice.

The Fagundes Family Farm is located in Hanford, California and their farmstead cheeses are handcrafted using Old-World methods and recipes that they brought from the Azores in 1886. In 1916 John Fagundes II bought the home ranch and established a dairy. In 1999, after a visit back to Larale on Sao Jorge Island, with the help of the Portuguese people on the island, the family re-established the farmstead cheese making business.

The Fagundes family ages their cheeses naturally from rBST and rGBH- free milk from their herd located on the same land where the cheese is made. Two of their cheeses are made using raw milk.

Since 2000, the Fagundes Old-World Cheese have won more than 160 awards with 2008 being the best award-winning year when their cheeses won 22 awards in that year alone.

Now for Gary’s review:

I opened this cheese and proceeded to grate it for making omelets, etc.  The dark color was all on the outside of the wedge and the inside was a creamy white.  I guess that the smoking of the cheese takes place after the cheese is made.  Of course grating it resulted in it all being mixed up.  When I have used the cheese, it has a profound smokey flavor.  It is excellent in an omelet with mushrooms or with arugula!  I have gotten to where I prefer an omelet with cheese and one other ingredient at most.  Since I always have a sauce over the top, it’s not good to have too many flavors slapped together.”

Since this Feline Foodie has not actually tasted this cheese, I cannot give it my usual Paws endorsement, but I think we can assume that Gary gives it two thumbs up. I will not add pairings information for the same reason.

Source: Happy Cow’s Milk


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