The packaging on this cheese tells the story, “4 generations of the Rumiano Family bringing you the best tasting organic hand-crafted cheese on the planet!” I could probably end the commentary at this point and start enjoying some really exceptional organic cheese, but since I can’t share a taste with you, I will continue telling the story. We were introduced to the Rumiano Family when we tasted their Garlic Jack Cheese, which was truly awesome. When Owen Rumiano contacted us to share some information on the family’s organic line of cheeses, we searched out their organic Monterey Jack at our local Whole Foods Market.
You might think the fourth-generation owners of the oldest family-owned cheese company in California would be resting comfortably on their laurels. Instead, they are leading their industry with the only certified non-GMO cheeses in the world. This video shows the justifiable pride the family has in its operations including sustainable farming practices, humane treatment of the “happy” grass-fed cows that produce milk for their cheeses, a robust recycling program, and energy efficiency that includes some of their employees riding bicycles to work!
However admirable a company’s business model is, it must also have a good product, and the Rumiano Family definitely delivers. Monterey Jack is a light-colored, semi-hard cheese with a mild flavor. Rich Jersey cow milk gives Rumiano’s organic Monterey Jack a very creamy texture and buttery flavor. We enjoyed it in a very simple presentation, cubing the cheese and serving it with slices of smoked sausage. It was so very tasty! As smooth and creamy as it was at room temperature, it would surely melt beautifully in a queso recipe or casserole. A Cheesy Portobello Mushroom recipe on the company’s website looks like an excellent way to test that melting quality!
There is a store locator on the website so you can find Rumiano Organic Monterey Jack cheese in your area, or you can order directly from the Rumiano Cheese Company. This cheese is guaranteed to please your palate and your social conscience!
Before I knew the story behind Mary’s Gone Crackers, I was impressed with the clever product name. We brought a box home from the market, sampled a few crackers au naturel, and loved the crunch and complex flavors of brown rice, quinoa, flax seed and sesame seed. The slightly irregular sizes and shapes of the crackers gave them a rustic, homemade look. They are super crisp and hold their own with toppings, making them a great choice for appetizer buffets.
Mary’s story is compelling. She was a psychotherapist, dedicated to helping people improve their lives. At the age of 43, she was diagnosed with celiac disease, an autoimmune disorder marked by an inability to digest gluten found in wheat, rye, barley, and some oats. Mary began baking her own gluten-free crackers to have something to eat while friends and family enjoyed bread products. As so often happens in an food artisan’s world, she began sharing her crackers with friends and soon found herself bringing crackers to practically every gathering of friends and family. Mary estimates that before she officially began manufacturing crackers, she made over 30,000 crackers by hand!
In 1999, Mary and her husband decided to “go crackers”, and enter into full-time cracker manufacturing. They didn’t jump into the business without careful planning; in fact, it was five years later when they both gave up their careers to pursue their dream. They began by contracting with a manufacturing facility, but decided that they wanted more control over the product and process. Today, Mary’s crackers are manufactured in their own gluten-free, dairy-free, nut-free facility.
Mary’s passion for helping people lead better lives took a very different path from her role as a psychotherapist, but her website states that her motivation remains the same – to heal people. Gluten-free diets have been front-page news for some time, but Mary’s Gone Crackers offers delicious options for anyone’s diet. Not only do they have several cracker flavors, they also make gluten-free cookies and pretzels. Find a location near you and try some soon!