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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What does it mean to be Non-GMO?

Rumiano’s selection of organic cheeses and butter is certified Non-GMO by the Non-GMO Project (nongmoproject.org). GMOs are “genetically modified organisms.” We share the belief that everyone deserves an informed choice about whether or not to consume genetically modified organisms.

What is the source of the enzymes used to make your cheeses? Specifically, are these enzymes from vegetarian sources or from animals?

All Rumiano Cheeses are made using a vegetable-based microbial coagulant instead of animal rennet making it approved for the vegetarian lifestyle.

What is the highest temperature you use in making your raw cheddar cheeses?

All of our raw milk cheeses are heat-treated at a maximum of 135 degrees Fahrenheit for 16 seconds and aged a minimum of 60 days.

Is it true that all vegetarian enzymes are genetically engineered?

There are many different types of microbial enzymes available to use in cheese making and the majority are genetically modified. We have spent a lot of time and effort in sourcing Non-GMO enzymes, which have been verified Non-GMO through the Non-GMO Project along with the rest of our ingredients. We use the same enzymes in both our conventional and organic cheese

Is your raw-milk Landmark brand cheese rBST and GMO free?

Our Landmark Brand Cheese is rBST Free but we cannot make a Non-GMO claim, as it is not verified Non-GMO.

How do hybrids compare to GMOs?

“GMOs are “genetically modified organisms”. Organisms that have been genetically altered through gene splicing. This technique is also known as “genetic engineering” or GE. Hybridization is when two plants share genetic material by “natural” processes in which pollen is shared between two species of plants and compatible genes are blended in offspring. The major difference between hybridization and genetic engineering is that GE foods contain genes from another species — like combining fish and tomato genes. Hybrid plants will only contain naturally occurring genetic combinations.

Is your cheese certified Kosher?

The entire Rumiano Family Organic line of certified organic Non-GMO cheese is certified Kosher through the Orthodox Rabbinical Council of San Francisco.

How many dairies operate under Rumiano Cheese?

We currently contract with 26 local dairies in Humboldt and Del Norte Counties.

How many cows reside on the farms?

The smallest dairy has around 75 cows and the largest around 500. The average dairy size is 125-200 cows.

Are your cows raised in ``factory farms?``

The dairies that supply our milk are small family farms, some of which have been in the industry for multiple generations. Using pasture-based feeding methods the cows are able to roam the pastures eating luscious coastal grasses whenever weather permits. Small herds, with large pasture access, make for happy cows, and happy cows make great cheese.

Can I freeze Rumiano Cheese?

Our cheese can be frozen, however, keep in mind the butterfat in cheese freezes at a higher temperature than water. When water in the cheese freezes, it expands about 10% and creates small cavities inside the cheese. When the cheese is thawed, it will become crumbly and have pockets of moisture inside. The taste is usually not affected but it causes the cheese to look and feel much less appetizing. Cooking with frozen cheese — when heating above 100°F — has no adverse effects to taste.

Is there lactose in your cheese?

A good rule of thumb with cheese is the harder and more aged the cheese, the less lactose present. Once the enzymes are added during the cheesemaking process, it immediately begins eating the lactose in the milk creating lactic acid, which is sifted out when it becomes whey. Many of our varieties of cheese are free of lactose, however some types like ricotta, brie, fresh mozzarella, and even American do contain lactose. We do suggest you consult a doctor or nutritionist regarding levels of lactose intolerance or dairy allergies before consuming any of the stated cheese.

Is homogenized milk used to make your cheese?

Our milk is never homogenized.

It says Rumiano Cheese uses grass-fed milk, but also states the cows are fed grain. How can this be?

The dairies Rumiano Cheese sources milk from are all located in Del Norte and Humboldt counties in Northern California. Due to a unique coastal climate, there is an abundance of lush grasses that grow almost all year around. During the winter months when growth is slowed, the cows are fed silage which has been harvested during the warmer time of year. On average the cows graze around 300 days a year. If the cows are unable to be in open pasture due to weather, they are fed the dry silage that is saved. However, due to the milking regiment that the cows are on, they cannot sustain on grass alone and require more nutrients which are obtained through two to six pounds of grain a day — depending on the dairy. Our organic dairies only use verified Non-GMO corn and barley mixes as well as a mineral mix with some alfalfa.

Does Rumiano Cheese make gluten free cheese?

We do not use any gluten-based products in either of our plants so it is safe to say that all of our cheese is “gluten-free”.  We do purchase shredded cheese from another company and it may contain potato starch, powdered cellulose, or corn starch. However, we suggest you consult with your doctor before consuming cheese as you may have another allergy affecting you.

Do you use Non-GMO ingredients in all of your cheese?

All of the ingredients that we use to make Rumiano Cheese have been Verified Non-GMO through the Non-GMO Project.  All of our products are currently enrolled in the Non-GMO Project, but only the organic products have been verified.

Do you use a good quality salt with all the natural minerals intact?

Sea Salt is used for preservation and flavor in all of the Rumiano Cheese Company products.

Are antibiotics used on the milking cows? If not, what happens to sick cows?

In conventional dairies, ill cows are removed from the milking herd and treated with antibiotics. All of the milk from this cow is discarded during treatment. The dairies are responsible for monitoring antibiotics in the milk, and once the milk has been cleared — of antibiotics — the cow can return to the milking herd. Organic dairies cannot treat milking cows with antibiotics but can use homeopathic remedies that are cleared for organic use.  If the organic dairies choose to treat the organic milking cow with antibiotics, it must be removed from the milking herd for no less than one year, or sold to another conventional dairy herd and removed from the ranch.

How long will cheese last in the refrigerator?

It depends on the type of cheese and packaging. If the cheese is high in moisture or soft, it will last a shorter amount of time than hard cheese. Typical cheeses that have a long shelf life 1-4 weeks would be hard or semi-hard cheese such as Parmesan, Romano, Asiago, Swiss, and Cheddar. Typical cheeses that have a short shelf life 1-2 weeks are Brie, Ricotta, and Fresh Mozzarella.

Is Rumiano Cheese free of artificial hormones, such as rBST?

Yes, all of the cheese manufactured by the Rumiano Cheese Company is free of artificial hormones and all of the dairy producers sign an affidavit stating that they do not inject their cows with artificial hormones, such as rBST.

Why are Rumiano Cheese Company products so yellow in color?

Rumiano Cheese Company butter and cheese may be slightly more yellow than other mass-produced cheese because of the type of milk that is used. Rumiano Cheese Company cheese and butter are made with milk from Jersey cows, which are the brown cows, not the black and white spotted Holstein cows. Jersey cows are bred for manufacturing milk while the Holstein cows are bred for fluid milk. The color of the milk is a result of our cows feeding on year-round abundant pastures of the Northern California coast. Lush green grass which is high in beta-carotene and Vitamin A will give the milk a very rich yellow looking color which is apparent in all of our cheese and butter.