2 slices white Italian
bread or a French
3 slices BelGioioso
2 roasted Roma
2 fresh basil leaves
2 thin slices
Spread artichoke pesto on one
side of each slice of bread. Fill
sandwich with mozzarella, roasted
tomatoes, basil and prosciutto.
Press sandwich in a panini maker
and grill until heated through.
Serve immediately. Makes
Fresh Mozzarella Panini BelGioioso founder
our cheese is produced from that milk each
day, the way cheese is made in Italy.”
In the United States, it’s more common to
pick up milk every other or every third day,
but once milk is refrigerated, he says, its qual-
ity is not the same.
The cheese has remained consistent,
Auricchio says, but the biggest change the
company has made is in packaging. People
used to buy cheese in chunks, but now they
demand more convenience. “We slice, grate,
shred, crumble and shave a variety of cheeses
for the convenience of the customer.”
Customer tastes have changed as well, he
adds. Americans have historically used cheese
in cooking, but now more and more people
are eating it on its own. Because of the trend
toward table cheese, people want their treats
with a little more flavor than before.
The change in tastes allows BelGioioso to
sell varieties with distinctive character, such as
Crescenza-Stracchino, a small-batch, creamy
cheese that’s slightly tangy. “In a few years, I
Company name: BelGioioso Cheese Inc.
Founder: Errico Auricchio
Date founded: April 1979
Number of employees: 450
expect [Crescenza-Stracchino] to be almost as
popular as fresh mozzarella,” says Auricchio.
BelGioioso makes every new cheese in
response to consumer demand. “Our customers make many requests. We filter them to
determine a market need. We make our selection and start experimenting, then we go to
Italy to fine-tune the recipes and learn the
traditional techniques for producing the
cheese,” Auricchio says.
The focus on quality and tradition has
paid off. BelGioioso cheeses have won many
awards, most notably the United States
Championship Cheese Contest in 1991, when
its Parmesan cheese won Best of Contest from
a pool of 500 entries. BelGioioso provolone
won first place, Best in Class, in the American
Cheese Society contest six times between
1990 and 2012.
Bring these award-winning cheeses to
your table, try a recipe with fresh mozzarella
or provolone (more on the BelGioioso website) and taste a legacy of Italian tradition. C
Maria Bellos Fisher lives in Washington
state and writes about business, food and
parenting. You can read her blog at www.
Products at Costco: Sliced Mild
Provolone, Fresh Mozzarella, Gorgonzola,
Romano, Mascarpone, American Grana,
Parmesan, Asiago, Fontina.
Comments about Costco: “We have
been working with Costco for 20 years now.
We want to be selling cheeses to them for
another 120 years.”—Errico Auricchio
By Maria Bellos Fisher
BELGIOIOSO IS A TOWN near Milan, Italy.
The name (pronounced BEL-joy-oso) means
“beautiful and full of joy,” but to Costco members, BelGioioso also means cheese—
especially fresh mozzarella and provolone. “We
always say, ‘There’s joy in BelGioioso,’ ” says
owner and cheese maker Errico Auricchio.
Auricchio’s been spreading joy since
1979. That’s when he emigrated from Italy to
the United States, to expand his family’s cen-tury-old cheese business. Auricchio landed in
America’s Dairyland—Wisconsin—with two
master cheese makers from the old country,
some cheese-making equipment and the
complete confidence of his family.
Although the Auricchios had a 100-year
history of cheese making in Cremona, Italy
(near Milan), Errico had to start fresh in the
States. “The language was the first obstacle,”
he tells The Connection, “and there was a dif-
ferent way of doing business. In Italy, you
talked to the owner of each grocery store. In
America, you had supermarkets.”
In a few years, Auricchio learned the lan-
guage and was successful enough in selling
his product to buy his family’s shares of the
business. By that time, the company was sell-
ing mild and sharp provolone up and down
the East Coast. As the market accepted its
products, the company gained the means to
produce additional varieties. BelGioioso
steadily built its repertoire, and today it makes
25 cheeses, with fresh mozzarella currently
the most popular among its customers.
Quality and consistency are the secrets to
BelGioioso’s success, Auricchio notes. “For
the quality of cheese production, a good supply of fresh Wisconsin milk is ideal. Every
farmer is visited daily to pick up his milk, and
the Old World new
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