Located just west of Petaluma in northern California, the Marin French Cheese Company was founded in 1865 by Jefferson A. Thompson, largely as a response to the burgeoning demand for cheese arising from returning Gold Rush miners. Marin French, also known as Rouge et Noir, is the oldest continuously operating creamery in the United States. Milk for cheese production originally came from the company's own herds of cattle that grazed the 700 acres of land surrounding the creamery. However, during the Depression of the 1930's, Marin French decided to focus its efforts entirely on production and try to support its neighbors by buying in milk from local farms. This arrangement continues today.
Schloss (which translates into ‘castle’ in German), was inspired by the washed-rind cheeses of Austria. Produced by Marin French Cheese since the early 1900s, it is smear-ripened and aged for five months.
Schloss is pungent yet approachable. Small, rectangular and orange with a creamy semisoft paste, aromas of cream, hay and toast mingle with a pleasant funkiness. Taste is forward and salty, with fruity undertones and a yeasty, boozy finish. Complex layers bring to mind citrus, brandy and an ocean breeze at the same time.
Pair Schloss with a hearty California red wine, an aromatic white wine or a dark beer. Or simply serve it with sliced nectarines!