2013 sofi Gold Winner

Outstanding Cheese or Dairy Product

Company: Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese Co.

A two-time sofi Winner in the Cheese or Dairy Product category and this year also taking home Outstanding New Product for its Bay Blue (see p. S5), Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese Co. clearly knows how to produce a winning cheese.

Following its classic-style Original Blue, Point Reyes developed Toma, a semi-hard farmstead cheese that is creamy in texture, buttery in flavor and finishes with a subtle grassy tang, which comes directly from the grass on which the cows graze.

“We wanted our second cheese to be very much like the milk and the history of this region,” says Jill Giacomini Basch, one of the four sisters who help run the third-generation family dairy.

The Giacomini family has been milking cows for almost a century, starting with great-grandfather Tobias who came to Northern California from Italy with a dream of raising cows. Tending to the family farm since 1959, grandson Bob Giacomini had his own dream—making cheese—so he urged his four daughters back to the farm to start Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese Co. in August 2000.

Toma, which is Italian for “cheese made by the farmer himself,” pays tribute to the family’s history of producing farm-fresh foods. It is made from pasteurized rBST-free cow’s milk and aged for a minimum of 90 days.—Shira Nanus

MSRP: $16.99/10 pounds

Website: pointreyescheese.com

View all of the 2013 sofi Awards Outstanding Products here