Most cheesemakers would be content after creating a host of award-winning cheeses and being an integral part of a company like BelGioioso Cheese, but Master Cheesemaker Gianni Toffolon is not like most.
A few years ago, Gianni set out to create the next great cheese, he wanted to craft a cheese with amazing flavor and texture that was unlike anything else on the market. Gianni has been a cheesemaker for more than 40 years and a Certified Wisconsin Master Cheesemaker for over 12 years. He crafted and tinkered with mixing cultures and experimented with aging techniques to come up with a new, unique cheese. The incredibly flavorful result is a cheese we named Artigiano, which means“Artisan” in Italian. We now offer this award-winning cheese in three varieties.
Artigiano Classico is carefully made each day to Gianni’s exacting standards. It takes 6 – 8 months of aging to achieve its distinct flavor, aroma and fine crystalline texture. Artigiano is a mixed culture cheese, which means the complex flavor lends itself to pairing well with other foods and beverages.
For that reason, we chose to marinate the cheese in complementary flavors like wine and balsamic vinegar. We sourced all-natural ingredients and created the delicately flavored Artigiano Vino Rosso and Artigiano Aged Balsamic & Cipolline Onion. The wheels are cut into cheeseboard sized 4 oz. wedges with the marinated edible rind on all 3 sides so you enjoy each distinct flavor with every piece you cut.
For the wine, we partnered with a boutique winery owned by a friend of BelGioioso Founder, Errico Auricchio. The company custom blends their award-winning Zinfandel and Merlot wines for our Artigiano Vino Rosso (“Red Wine”). Once the Artigiano Classico wheels have aged to Gianni’s satisfaction, they are marinated in this wine blend until the flavors are perfectly balanced.
The flavoring for Artigiano Aged Balsamic and Cipolline Onion comes to us from Italy. Aged balsamic vinegar is sourced from Modena and the sweet cipolline onions from Calabria. Both Italian regions are famous for these ingredients and you will taste their quality in this variety. When enjoying, you will immediately taste the full flavor of the cheese, followed by the tangy balsamic and sweet cipolline. The three distinct flavors work together, never overpowering the other. (Try out this pasta recipe and you’ll know what we mean)
Gianni’s efforts have truly paid off. Only a Master of his caliber has the experience and palate to create a brand new cheese of this magnitude. No matter which variety of Artigiano you choose, you are in for a treat.