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  • HOME
    • LOCAL EATS IN NORTHERN CALIFORNIA’S CENTRAL VALLEY

    • LOCAL LIBATIONS INCLUDING BEER, WINE, MILK & COFFEE

    • FOOD FOR THOUGHT

    • GARDENING. EVENTS. TRAVEL. SHOPPING. MEET YOUR MAKERS.

    • FIND STORIES ABOUT LOCAL FOOD, FARMS, CHEFS, ARTISANS AND MORE IN OUR PAST ISSUE ARCHIVE.

    • FRESH, LOCAL, SEASONAL RECIPES AND KITCHEN INSPIRATION.

    • SUBSCRIBE TO THE MAGAZINE AND NEVER MISS AN ISSUE.

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AT THE CHEESE BALL

An indulgence of cheese riches decked the party table, which featured not only Rumiano’s cheeses, but cheeses sent from other northern California cheesemakers to honor the Rumianos’ hundredth anniversary.

As Rumiano Cheese Company’s Cheese Ball guests gathered around the cake in celebration of the company’s 100th anniversary, Baird Rumaino gave the short version of Rumiano Cheese Company’s creation story. It was 1919, and the Rumiano family lived in San Francisco and worked in the liquor and wine industry.

The ratification of the 18th amendment prohibiting the manufacture, transport, and sale of alcohol led to increased Mafia pressure and threats, so the family decamped to Willows, in Glenn County. The rest, Baird noted, forms the Rumiano Cheese Company’s history. The company still has offices in Willows, where much of their cheese distribution is centered and where the famous Dry Monterey Jack cheese is aged. The family now makes its cheeses in Crescent City.

The Rumiano cheese rounds at left formed a centerpiece sculpture. Family lore has it that the dark rind on Rumiano’s famed Dry Monterey Jack was originally a rub of bitter chocolate powder, which deterred mice from nibbling the cheese as it aged and dried.

Two generations of Rumianos celebrated the centennial: (from left) Baird and son Tony, Raymond and father John, all of whom currently work at the company.

Rumiano Cheese Company’s Glenn County neighbors were deliciously represented at the table:

Sierra Nevada Cheese Company’s Raw Milk Goat Cheddar
Pedrozo Dairy and Cheese’s aged Black Butte Reserve
Orland Farmstead Creamery’s young, soft, Garlic Dill Ricottage
As Baird and John cut the anniversary cake, Baird quipped, “I hope it’s cheese cake!”