This is an American original with all the character, versatility, and individuality so typical of our country and countrymen! With its sweet, nutty flavor, Vella hints of Parmesan, yet it finishes with a cheddar tang. Made in northern California, the cheese is a handmade Monterey Jack, rubbed with unsweetened cocoa and black pepper, then aged for nearly a year. Unlike most cheese, Dry Jack is aged standing up on its edge, perpendicular to the floor. The wheels have to be hand-rotated regularly throughout the aging process to ensure even moisture and flavor distribution. For 67 years, Vella Cheese has been a companion to great food. Ig Vella says, "The success of Vella Cheese has to lie in the personal attention each day's production is given. Quality starts in the pasture. Every cow is not the same. Every day is not sunny; every blade of grass is not green and lush. But, if you insist on the finest breeding of herds, the finest feeds, the greatest care in milking and transporting top grade milk, you have the best possible natural raw material, and you have set the stage for outstanding cheese."
While much has changed over the last 67 years, more has remained the same. The cultures, the care, the personal hands-on techniques, even the old curing rooms are the same. But, most of all, the quality is the same. It all began back in 1931. Tom Vella had arrived in Sonoma nearly a decade earlier. He held various jobs with the Sonoma Mission Creamery, in which his brother, Joseph, owned considerable stock. By 1931, Tom had built a reputation for hard work, honesty, and a talent for making superior cheeses. That year a group of dairymen called on Tom with an idea they had been mulling over for a while. Would he be interested in starting a cheese factory of his own if they guaranteed him all the quality bulk milk he would need to operate it successfully? Bright, ambitious, and weary of working for someone else, Tom jumped at the opportunity. Gathering together the best equipment available, and in partnership with an equally experienced cheesemaker, Tom put his management skills to work. Word soon spread about the marvelous "new cheese" Tom was making. A Scot named David Jacks, whose name it carries today, originally created the cheese recipe in the Gold Rush Days in Monterey. Tom and his son, Ig Vella, a born-to-the-vat cheesemaker, knew a winner when it rolled across their counter. Their focus on quality has made Ig Vella Dry Jack an American classic.
Grated onto salads, soups or pastas, Dry Jack is a winner! It's wonderful eaten on its own for snacks or sandwiches and it is delicious after dinner with fresh fruit and a handful of toasted walnuts. In its home state of California, Dry Jack is known as a "backpacker's cheese." Its firm texture and low moisture make an ideal addition to your camping and hiking provisions.
Experience International Variety
You might receive a Gaperon, originating in France during the 14th Century, an
authentic Lancashire by Ruth Kirkham, and an Italian Taleggio matured in the
caves of Valsassina…all in one shipment!