Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Gioia Cheese in El Monte


For some years now several Italian friends have mentioned to us that you can get good, fresh Italian cheeses at a factory in El Monte. Though it was always in the back of our minds to check out this place that has been around since 1993 (established by the Girardi family from Puglia Italy) we only heard about it in the recent past. Yesterday Mike and I took a ride early in the morning to buy some cheese. Here is some background: "The family’s operations had always been based in Gioia Del Colle until Vito Girardi, 3rd Generation cheese maker, had a vision of bringing this art to an uncharted territory. In 1992, at age 35, Vito took on the adventure of moving to California along with his family in pursuit of establishing his own cheese factory. His dream was to introduce the American pallet to a truly fresh and authentic Mozzarella. With little to nothing in his name, he immediately began the recreation of the family recipe, whilst having to adapt to similar ingredients that he could find here in the states.With the help of his father, Francesco Girardi, 2nd generation cheesemaker, the original Girardi family recipe was almost instantly brought to life and would be immediately introduced to the Los Angeles market."They sell their cheeses wholesale to restaurants, delis, cheese shops, markets and distributors. The Gioia Cheese brand is currently distributed throughout in California, Arizona, Nevada ,Chicago, and Maryland." 1605 Potrero Ave, South El Monte, CA 91733 ·
(626) 444-6015
They are located in a very industrial area and though they do sell to the public it is not a store. You enter the office and tell the secretary what you want. A small menu of cheese offerings are on the desk. (I attach a photo of menu with prices). Very reasonable and you must pay Cash!. They do not use preservatives so the shelf life is limited. The fresh mozzarella was delicious (6 large balls of mozzarella in the 3 lb. container) and we are having the burrata for dinner tonight. Check out website for hours. I don't think they are open on the weekends. It's a great find 

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