American made and delicious, that is the best way to describe Sartori cheese (www.satoricheese.com). Sartori is a family owned, fourth generation cheese manufacturer that started producing cheese in the Antigo Flats of northern Wisconsin in 1939. The milk they use is sourced from local small dairies within 50 miles of their plants. Sartori buys 100% of the milk produced on these farms to insure a continuous supply of excellent milk.
The cheese made by Sartori can be loosely grouped into three categories. Classic, which are everyday cheeses to grace any table or to be used in cooking. Montamore, Romano, Fontina, Asiago and Parmesan fall into this group. Rare, small runs of artisan cheese developed by the creative spirit of their cheesemakers are the second group which includes Pastorale Blend, Extra-Aged Goat and Cannella BellaVitano. The third group includes the continuously growing Sartori Reserve group including Espresso BellaVitano, Extra-Aged Asiago, SarVecchio Parmesan and Chai BellaVitano.
We had the opportunity to taste a few chesses from each group. The flavors and inspiration behind each cheese is interesting and the results are satisfying, sometimes surprising but always subtle, encouraging you to eat just one more bite.
Parmesan SarVecchio is one of the best parmesan cheeses we have ever tasted. Allowed to warm slightly it is mild and moist crumbly with a somewhat sweet flavor that pairs well with fruit. This is not your traditional dry crumbly sharp parmesan.
Both BellaVitano Espresso and BellaVitano Chai are surprising flavor pairings. Espresso hand rubs freshly roasted, ground espresso beans into a sweet cheese. The two flavors are an excellent complement. Chai pairs a hearty blend of black tea and spices rubbed into a sweet mild cheese. Again, this is an unexpected but excellent combination. In both cheeses the flavors permeate the cheese but are not overpowering.
In the limited edition line we tried Pastorale Blend and Extra-Aged Goat. As a fan of goat cheese the Extra-Aged was a true treat, mild and full bodied with a firm but creamy mouthfeel. Pastorale Blend is a combination of cow’s and sheep’s cheese dusted with paprika for a sweet, smoky undertone.
The nutrition profile of each flavor is typical of a 1-ounce serving of semi-hard cheese with 100 to 120 calories, 7 to 10 grams of fat and 180 to 250 milligrams of calcium.
Parmesan SarVecchio has 330 milligrams of calcium in a 1-ounce serving, one-third of the day’s requirement.
This brand is definitely worth a try.