Parmesan (Sartori Family Heirloom)
Established in 1939 by Paolo Sartori, Sartori Cheese Company is a fourth generation family owned business based in Plymouth, Wisconsin.
Specializing in aged Italian-style cheeses, the company sources milk from local, family owned farms within a close radius to their production facility. The herd size at each farm averages 75 cows and many of the farms have worked with Sartori for multiple generations. The company also operates an incentive program that encourages each farm to produce the best quality milk possible.
For production of Sartori’s cheeses, the milk is heated, cultures and rennet are added and, once the milk has coagulated, the curd is cut, releasing the whey, which is drained off.
The remaining curd is hand-salted and transferred into hoops, then pressed for several hours. Newly formed wheels of cheese are placed in a warm “overnight” room to encourage the expulsion of more whey.
Wheels are then trimmed by hand and placed in a brine bath, which encourages the formation of a rind. After the brine bath, the cheese is moved to a curing room for further maturation.
Sartori Family Heirloom Parmesan was released in 2014 in celebration of the company’s 75th anniversary. The cheese is aged for a minimum of 36 months.
After three years of aging, texture is crumbly and grainy and speckled with crunchy amino acid crystals. Upfront aromas of caramel and buckwheat honey yield a sweet, fruity finish. Flavors are much more concentrated than in a traditional Sartori Parmesan.
Pair it with a Chianti, a Port or Sherry, or an Asti Spumante. For beer pairings try an IPA, a sweet hard cider or a dark, malty ale.