A new mixed-milk cheese from Nicolau Farms, Bianchina "the little white one" named after one of their beloved goats!
Taking inspiration from classic, old world cheese making traditions, Bianchina is made using only all natural goat rennet.
Blending jersey cow and goats’ milk, each 2 pound wheel is aged for approximately 10 days. A special mixture of geotrichum and penicilium candidum is introduced to the cheese which encourages the rind to develop a pillowy exterior.
Both the rind and paste are a stark white, a reflection of how young and fresh this cheese truly is.
The paste is creamiest just under the rind and becomes increasingly dense towards the center of the wheels, while the flavors showcase the classic buttery quality of jersey cow’s milk, complimented by the typical bright and grassy flavors of goat’s milk.
Fourth-generation dairyman Walter Nicolau raises mostly Alpine goats on his Modesto farm, but he bought two Jersey cows this past winter to stretch his goat's milk.
"This was my first attempt to make soft-ripened cheese," says Nicolau, a largely self-taught cheesemaker. "I've been afraid to work with mold, and with mixed milk because you hear horror stories about the proper ratio."
We're not sure what scary scenarios could emerge from mixing cow's and goat's milk, but Nicolau need not have worried. He settled on 60 percent cow's milk to 40 percent goat's milk for the bloomy-rind Bianchina, a 2-pound wheel that he releases at about 15 days.
Nicolau can't make Bianchina fast enough, but he has held back a few wheels for his own enjoyment. Matured for 45 to 60 days, he says the cheese is "phenomenal."
We took our Bianchina sample, spread it on our favorite crusty bread and paired it with our Relish Roussanne Rhone style white wine and . . . well - you be the judge!