LONG BEACH, Calif. – When you love cheese, there’s nothing better than having one flavorful bite.
“Cheese is one of those things that there’s so much variety in it and there’s so much thought that goes into what the cheese is and how it can pair and compliment many aspects of a meal,” TJ Loeffler said.
Loeffler and his wife fell in love with European cheeses many years ago when they lived abroad. Since then, he said he hasn’t been able to find the same taste in the states.
“Looking at the market in California, we’ve actually realized like, whoa, there’s actually not a lot of high-quality specialty quality cheeses,” Loeffler said.
Until they met Aaron Nastaskin with Froma Cheese at the Long Beach Southeast Farmers Market. Nastaskin said he's the only person in the U.S. to sell a more than a century old recipe specialty cheese from the Alps of Southern Germany.
“This region has very fresh grass, it has it’s very own brown cattle that produces twice the amount of fat in its milk and you have really fresh air that helps to provide the fresh flavor in the milk,” Nastaskin said.
Nastaskin is passionate about sharing where the cheese comes from and what makes it different because he personally went to the Alps to import his latest selection. But it’s a taste he says you’ll have to try for yourself.
“It’s incredibly important that I bring a cheese to this local community that is new and unique. That people don’t really know about and really share the culture and the history behind it. And help people uncover something they didn’t know exist,” Nastaskin said.
For Loeffler, it’s flavors of Europe he’s grateful to have close to home.
“He’s going as far out as you know going to specific exporters from Germany, building relationships with them and bringing that here and we just really appreciate the thought that goes into it and the product obviously speak for itself,” Loeffler said.
Nastaskin said he’ll continue to travel across Europe to find new flavors in hopes of inspiring local taste buds.