Just down California Highway 99 outside of Turlock, a husband and wife team run an incredible sheep dairy in Denair, California. Craig Meadows and Andrea Mongini started Ewetopia Dairy in 2012 with the idea that happy animals make delicious cheese.
Meadows and Mongini are both large animal veterinarians. At their dairy farm, their main focus is creating the best environment for their sheep because they understand that a low stress environment produces the best milk and product. They approach this by letting their sheep roam freely in large pastures, trimming their hooves and fleecing their coats 3 times a year, placing fans in their barns during the summertime, and allowing them to have free choice feed. Their sheep rarely get sick and have high fertility rates. They also produce of high quality milk good for cheesemaking.
Ewetopia Dairy decided to partner with Fiscalini Cheese Company, a family owned artisan creamery in Modesto, California who have been in business for over 100 years. Three cheeses are made from Ewetopia Dairy sheep’s milk by Fiscalini’s award winning artisan cheesemaker: Wild Ewe Farmstead Cheddar, a full creamed Feta called Philosopher, and Enigma a raw sheep’s milk Asiago (which is traditionally made from cow’s milk).
This delicious Asiago makes its debut in our chestnut and butternut squash ravioli for our third course in November. Folded in with the Fall filling of squash and chestnuts, the Asiago is the perfect marriage between the two. Delicate crumbles garnish the finished dish and melt just enough to allow the creamy flavor leaving you wanting more. Don’t be shy if you do want more of this full-flavored delight, the chefs can give you a taste – all you have to do is ask. From what we can taste, happy animals produce great milk, which makes tasty cheese leading to satisfied taste buds.