St George Cheese is made in Santa Rosa, California, about 50 miles north of San Francisco.
It is an American take on São Jorge Cheese. The company that makes it only makes this one cheese. It is a farmhouse cheese.
St George Cheese is firm but supple, with small holes. The taste is peppery, grassy and slightly sweet, somewhere between an aged Swiss cheese and Havarti or a young Asiago.
It is made from unpasteurized cow’s milk from the company’s own 50-strong herd of Holstein cows.
The milk is curdled with vegetarian rennet. Then the curds are stirred, then salted, then moulded and pressed into a wheel, which is then set to age for up to 7 months.
The wheels will be from 10 to 21 pounds, and develop a natural rind.
Melts very well.
St George Cheese is made by Joe and Mary Matos. Joe was born in Sao Jorge; Mary was actually born in America.
They came to California in the 1970s. Joe had a dairy herd by 1977, and started cheese production in 1979. He is the fifth generation of his family to make the cheese.
They sold the cheese at first by mail order, mostly to Portuguese immigrants in northern California, then the cheese was picked up by Tomales Bay Foods for distribution.
Jordan, Michele Anna. Joe Matos St. George Cheese at a great price Santa Rosa, California :Press Democrat. 12 August 2010.
Sachs, Adam. The Great Cheese Chase. Food and Wine Magazine. October 2001.