A revolution is brewing. You can see signs of it in dairy’s, at farmers markets, in restaurants, delis and cheese counters across Australia. It started so innocently. We became used to seeing gouda, jarlsberg and brie sitting next to the coon. Then the French arrived. Fancy cheeses with history, tradition and foreign tastes. Some daringly unpasteurised. It changed our palates. We started to enjoy Munster that smelled like sweaty socks and the salty creamy spice of Roquefort made from ewe’s milk.
Now we better appreciate cheese. Small cheesemakers who have been making cheese for our Greek and Italian communities are joining forces with a new brand of cheesemaker. A cheesemaker that is inspired by European cheeses with centuries of history, such as comté, teleggio, manchego or stilton, but are not tied to tradition and have no desire to copy. By adding good quality local milk to thousands of years of cheesemaking knowledge Australians are making their own cheese. Cheese that reflects their local area and the tastes and lifestyle of the people who live there.
These cheeses are creative and bold. Some of these cheeses, such as Frolicking Goat’s Liesel, is similar to its European cousin. It reminds you of the goat’s cheese that you would find in a walnut salad in the Loir Valley, but there is something different. It might be the hint of eucalypt from the trees nibbled by the goats or it could just be the creaminess of the milk. Other cheeses like Holy Goat’s La Luna are unique.
Great Aussie cheeses like Bay of Fires Clothbound Cheddar, Bruny Island Cheese Co. C2 and Berrys Creek Riverine Blue are leading the charge. Fuelled by the deregulation of the dairy industry, the revolution is gathering momentum and more local cheeses are being made.
You too can join the revolution. It is as simple as buying and eating Australian artisan cheese. If you want to be more involved tell your local cheesemaker what you liked about the cheese. Perhaps you might also tell them, respectfully and delicately, what you think could be improved. As the revolution is not just about making local cheese it is about making great tasting Australian artisan cheese.