Organic Cheese Collection
This international organic collection includes some of the most versatile cheeses. It is a must have for any cheese lover who keeps with an organic lifestyle.
The featured products in this assortment are:
Organic Manchego by Parra (8oz.): This is a classic Queso Manchego aged minimum 3 months. It’s made from pasteurized milk produced by heritage breed black ewes that graze the certified-Organic Parra Family vineyard in La Mancha, central Spain. This cheese is the product of a farm and vineyard owned by three brothers: Francisco, Luis and Javier Parra, in the village of Las Mesas, province of Cuenca. The sheep play an important role in the cycle of the land, keeping the grass and weeds in check and fertilizing the farm and vineyard without the use of chemicals. The cheese is semi-Firm, with exceptionally high moisture content giving it a creamy mouth feel despite its slightly crumbly profile. The cheese has a zesty, buttery, lanolin scent. Its flavor is nutty, herbaceous, sweet and savory with a slight saltiness. La Oveja Negra is moister, more complex, sweeter and less salty than factory-made Manchegos.
Queso Manchego, or Manchego Cheese, is made La Mancha, a windswept region in the center of Spain. The milk must come from sheep of the Manchega breed. Officially recognized Spanish Manchego can be aged from 60 days to two years. Manchego cheese has an immediately recognizable flavor, which is delicate but developed, creamy yet firm in texture, with a distinct lanolin aftertaste characteristic of all sheep cheeses. The cheese is white when young and turns a rich yellow when older. The rind is natural, but not edible and can be almost white, to darkened with mold. By law the rind is allowed to be washed, coated in paraffin, dipped in olive oil, or treated with certain approved transparent substances. Queso Manchego is a protected agricultural product under Spain’s Denominación de Origen (DO) regulatory system. This means that under Spanish and European law, only cheese made in a certain way, from the milk of Manchego sheep in La Mancha, may be designated Queso Manchego and meet certain requirements.
Organic Parmigiano Reggiano (8oz.): Dairy Co-op Santa Rita consists of eight family farms located at Pompeano and Selva of Serramazzoni in the Modena Apennini Mountain. All of the farmers belonging to the Co-op have been applying the methods of biological agriculture and zootechnics for the last ten years. Proper tillage, scrupulous feeding, care and wellbeing for the cattle, and the refusal of any genetically modified nourishment are basic for the daily management of the farms. The eight farms in the Co-op are located within a few kilometers of each other, so when the milk is delivered to the Co-op, it is in the very best condition.
The milk from the evening is left to rest overnight in containers, letting the cream come to the surface in a natural way. This milk is partially skimmed in the morning and then mixed with the morning's whole milk. Only milk and rennet of organic origin are mixed in large copper kettles from which, after heating and coagulation, the wheels will be made. Every day, 10 wheels of Parmigiano Reggiano are made. For a kilo of Parmigiano Reggiano to be made, 17 liters of milk will be used. The cheese is immersed in brine for 21 days, then turned, cleaned and seasoned for 24 months.
We had the good fortune to sample this cheese at the SANA in Bologna. We were bowled over by the incredible sweet, floral, fruity fragrance and the rich, pure flavor. Clearly, the additional work needed to achieve an organic product, the small scale of the co-op and the unique flavor that comes from its mountainous territory pays off to create nothing short of a masterpiece.
Organic Provolone Piccante by Ghidetti (8oz.): Located in Verona, Italy, Ghidetti has been producing classic Italian cheeses like Grana Padano, Ricotta, and Provolone since 1937. We love their organic provolone, especially on an antipasto platter with good salumi. Provolone is a semi-hard whole cow’s milk cheese with a smooth rind. Of the pasta filata family of Italian cheeses, Provolone is made from the kneading and stretching of cow’s milk curd. Provolone was originally a southern Italian cheese, but toward the end of the 19th century, it was mostly made in northern Italy in the Po Valley. It can be thought of as Mozzarella’s older brother.
Organic Tarentaise (8oz.): Thistle Hill Farm Tarentaise is an aged, raw-milk, organic cheese, handmade by John and Janine Putnam on their family farm in North Pomfret, Vermont. This artisan cheese is made using a copper cheese vat in the tradition of the Beaufort and Abondance cheeses of the Tarentaise Valley in the Savoie region of the French Alps. The copper vat, essential to developing the proper flavor, is the only one in Vermont and one of only a few in the United States. Made using imported French cultures to mature the curds, the Putnam's follow the traditional Savoie process of making their own rennet, using the whey from the previous cheesemaking. Much in the same way bakers use a sourdough starter, this traditional rennet gives a complexity of flavor to the cheese which cannot otherwise be created.
Aged for six months, Tarentaise develops a unique and complex flavor. It is as unadulterated a cheese as you will find. The imported French cultures impart flavor and texture, while the traditional rennet provides structure and further complexity to its flavor. Tarentaise has no added preservatives, synthetic flavors or additives. No herbs are used to hide its flavor, and no waxes or plastics simplify its aging process. While Tarentaise is modeled after the Beaufort and Abondance cheeses of France (both known as among the finest cheeses of the world), it is unique to North Pomfret Vermont's territory. The soil, geography, climate, and flora in Vermont give Tarentaise its characteristic smooth, subtle nut flavor and complex finish.
Mary's Gone Crackers: These specialty baked items are crisp, delicious crackers with a rich, nutty flavor. Wheat-free, gluten-free, and organic, they are made of organic whole grain brown rice, organic quinoa (keen-wa: a high protein seed/grain), organic flax seeds, and organic brown sesame seeds, with no added fat. Surprisingly satisfying on their own or with your favorite toppings, they always hold their crunch. You'll find Mary's Gone Crackers to be unlike any other cracker you've ever had - and that's a good thing! Made in California.
igourmet has a dedicated commitment to ensuring the safe, efficient delivery of our food products. To this end, we are constantly researching, developing and improving our FreshWave packaging system. During the summer months, we use an air tight, fully insulated, temperature retaining packaging system that keeps its contents cool for as many as 48 hours in ambient temperatures of up to 90 degrees Fahrenheit or 24 hours in temperatures up to 105 degrees. Through the use of the FreshWave packaging system, igourmet.com can absolutely guarantee that the food products you receive from us are in the same fresh condition as when they left our facility. The FreshWave system combines a reusable, seamless, molded cooler chest with a non-toxic refrigerant gel pack and strategically placed chips of dry ice. Your perishable foods are temperature controlled within the confines of the cooler, which itself is encased in an outer cardboard shipper. To further contain temperature escalation, we fill the remaining areas with void fill to minimize the amount of air circulating within the system. As an added bonus, you get to keep the cooler and the refrigerant gel packs to use for your next picnic or road trip. In the winter months, we may utilize a less robust system for the cooler states.