We love pizza. In our opinion, it is one of the greatest creations in human history. There are many pizza-like dishes across the globe – German flammkuchen, Lebanese manousheh, Japanese okonomiyaki, etc.. But what makes pizza so special? Perhaps it is the simplicity and convenience of the meal as a whole: crust, sauce and cheese. Or maybe it is the versatile way pizza allows for ingredients to be used. Whatever the reason, we know high-quality ingredients make even the most basic pizza amazing, which is why we take such care in choosing which ingredients we use.
Take, for instance, our cheese. The mozzarella and fontina on our menu comes from Rumiano Cheese Company, based out of Crescent City, California. We have been sourcing cheese from Rumiano for more than a decade. Their mozzarella melts, bubbles, and browns better than any others we have tested, and their fontina is buttery smooth with a nutty, almost honeyed flavor.
Our search for a new cheese began after a company based in France purchased our previous supplier. They moved production out of Washington and switched to milk from Holstein cows, rather than Jersey cows. Holstein cows produce greater quantities of milk, but Jersey cows produce a dense, higher-quality milk. It is easy to tell the difference just by looking at the two side by side. Jersey cow milk has a high butterfat content, which gives it a robust flavor and natural yellow hue compared to the thinner, bright white milk from Holstein cows.
Taste originally brought us to Rumiano, but the more we learned about the quality of their operation, the more we knew we wanted to work with them. Three brothers, immigrants from Italy, founded Rumiano. The fourth generation of their family still runs the business. Their cheesemaking facility is located amidst green coastal pastures in Northern California, where the temperate weather allows for year-round grazing. The milk they use comes from local, small-scale farms, which guarantee free-roaming cows that feed on meadow grasses. Naturally pastured cows are healthier and happier, and the milk they produce has a superior taste that is more nutritious for you.
Not only does Rumiano make great cheese, they are committed to sustainability. Cheesemaking produces a lot of wastewater, so to mitigate their impact on the local environment, they built a state-of-the-art wastewater treatment facility about ten years ago that benefits the Cresent City community. Their dedication to local farming also helps them lower their carbon footprint. The local farms rely on natural grasses to feed the cows, so farmers are not hauling in the grains and corn that make up conventional feeds. Natural grazing also minimizes the use of antibiotics and other pharmaceuticals necessary in reducing the risk of antibiotic-resistant microbes forming.
“Rumiano is a first-rate cheese manufacturer with a from-the-heart dedication to supporting local farmers who pasture their cows,” says Matt Galvin, co-owner of Pagliacci. “Their high-quality cheese and product consistency year in and year out helps us deliver an excellent product, while their mostly organic production and major investments in green technology also match Pagliacci’s commitment to environmental sustainability.”