• Sonia Ghiggioli

Creating a Cheese of Provenance

It takes quite a while to make cheeses of provenance, true reflections of the very soil the dairy cows are grown on, the microclimate and the indigenous cheese culture. It has been a long and slow process to create cheeses that showcase the milk they are made from, with all of the nuances of season's pastures giving differing tastes and richness to the cheese throughout the year. I knew when I moved to this region and gave up my commercial cheesemaking role that there were two local dairies who could supply milk to experiment with. I chose Baffle Coast Dairy, a mere 53 km from my little farm. These guys are not certified organic, most dairies in Australia aren't, but understand pasture and stock management and are willing to extend themselves to make sure all are managed ethically, with minimal chemical inputs. The milk speaks for itself!

The natural cheese I can make from this milk is world class, if I do say so myself! Besides the chefs, food writers and friends I share it with, I will need to take their word for it as there is no non-commercial cheesemaking shows left in Australia (please correct me if I am wrong) to compare and contrast my cheese with anyone else's. Every cheese you eat besides the three registered raw milk commercial cheeses (listed below) in other States, are made with pasteurised milk and commercial cultures. Australia is only one of two countries with a blanket ban on the sale or production of raw milk cheese.

There are some that push the boundaries to bring artisan cheese to your door, often by online cheese clubs including Stanthorpe Cheese with the lowest temperature rates for pasteurisation allowable (I know because I worked there) and Shaw River Buffalo who are completely out of the box and are making cheese from a single herd of buffalo they milk on farm.

I was fortunate to have the chief cheesemaker of Stanthorpe Cheese, Karen Deeth and her gorgeous husband Rosco (the namesake for the famous Rosco Red washed rind cheese) spend a night with me on my farm. She brought 10 month matured cheeses I had made and we tasted through these as well as the soft and hard cheeses I had in my cheese cave. I had a pressed cheddar which was ready to be clothbound in organic cotton muslin and organic butter so I left it to Karen to take the honour. It was an exceptionally beautiful moment. I cannot wait to see how this cheese develops over time!

Creating a cheese of provenance takes time. I cannot wait to take you on the journey of the cheese styles I select that best represent the changing patterns of our seasons here on the Discovery Coast.

Thank you for reading,

the Barefoot FarmHer

Stanthorpe Cheese - http://www.stanthorpecheese.com.au/

Shaw River Buffalo - http://shawriverbuffalo.com/

Raw Milk Cheese Suppliers:

Hindmarsh Valley Dairy - http://www.hindmarshvalleydairy.com.au/

Udder Delights - http://udderdelights.com.au/king-saul-raw-blue-cheese/

Woodside Cheese Wrights - http://woodsidecheese.com.au/kris-lloyd-artisan/

#Cheese #LocalMilk #Kefir #Cheesemaking #ClothboundCheddar #Dairy #StanthorpeCheese #ShawRiverBuffalo

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