23 August 2012
Two Factories, One Goal
An Intro to the Crescent City cheese Factory
At Rumiano Cheese Co. we pride ourselves on being transparent. With the great influx of new followers we have online, we would like to give you an introduction to the factories that produce Rumiano Cheese.
The Rumiano Brothers had eight cheese factories in California and Oregon in the 1930s, including factories in Willows and Crescent City, California. With the advent of modern cheesemaking practices and "modern" refrigeration the company consolidated and closed most of its factories, except for Willows (hometown of the Rumiano family) and Crescent City. The Crescent City was kept because of the unbeatable quality of milk found in the surrounding area. . A mild and wet climate in the region create natural grasses that are very conducive to high quality milk and cheese production. Crescent City is a secluded town in Del Norte on the northernmost tip California's beautiful coast.
Today the Crescent City plant works much like it did "back in the day", but using the latest technology to improve sanitation, quality, and sustainability. Fresh milk arrives daily, cultures are added, the curd is cut and stirred until there are millions of curds, or chunks of "squeaky cheese" (a partially finished cheese that squeaks when you bite it!). Various flavors and salts are added depending on the variety, and finally the curds are pressed into blocks or wheels. Once the cheese is packaged in bulk form, it is shipped south to Willows for aging and the final packaging process.
Stay tuned for the second half of the story next week where we will break down the finishing touches that occur in the Willows facility.