Founded by Errico Auricchio, BelGioioso Cheese is a cheesemaking operation based in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Errico comes from a family of cheese makers who have been producing Provolone in Italy for over a century. In 1979, he moved his family to the United States and opened his own Italian cheese company.
Over the last thirty years, BelGioioso has grown to include seven manufacturing facilities in Northeastern Wisconsin. Using the milk of Wisconsin dairy farmers, the company produces over 25 types of cheese. However, each facility produces only a select few of these cheeses, thereby ensuring high quality and consistency. This has resulted in multiple awards, including several United States, World and American Cheese Society Awards.
Originally a Sicilian sheep’s milk cheese, Pepato from BelGoioso has been reinvented as a cow’s milk cheese. The milk may have changed, but the inclusion of peppercorns in the paste has not. Pepato after all means “with pepper.” BelGoioso’s version of this cheese utilizes partially skimmed raw milk and they age the cheese a minimum of 5 months. This provides a firm, smooth texture and pleasantly spiced flavor.
Like many spicy foods, Pepato pairs very well with late harvest Rieslings or Gewurztraminer. It can be served on its own with fresh fruits such as grapes or apricots, or it can be shredded on top of potato soup for a spicy kick or into pastas.