Depending upon what type of cheese you are craving, you can find the best cheeses in Australia at a supermarket (Coles extra Tasty or Coles Extra Reserve) or in a gourmet dairy (Heidi Farm Guyere).
Cheese is an amazing food, starting with milk, bacteria, salt, rennet and other ingredients are mixed together and the resultant product separated and then drained, and either pressed, salted, ashed, brined or aged to produce an almost infinite variety of flavours, colours and textures.
The milk can be goat, cow, sheep, the bacteria strain varies depending upon the cheese and the process changes to produce the specific characteristics required. For what seems like a relatively simple process, there is an incredible level of complexity to produce a cheese that is consistent each and every time.
This is the skill of the Master Cheesemaker and each year at the Sydney Royal Cheese & Dairy Produce Show, the true masters are recognised for their achievements.
Cheddar is the most popular cheese in Australia due to it’s flavour and hardiness but the gourmets amongst us really go for the hundreds of other varieties that are available.
The Champion Cheddar for 2015 is the “Rindless Cheddar Cheese – Sweet Recipe” made by Bega from NSW.
However, for those like something a bit different, the winner of the Champion Speciality for 2015 is ‘Heidi Farm Raclette’ by The Heritage Burnie of Tasmania.
I have to admit, I grew up in Burnie and clearly remember making trips to the cheese factory and being introduced to some very special cheeses as a kid. That may explain why I am now a hobby cheesemaker. So I am not surprised that this factory continues even 30 years later to win top prizes for it’s speciality cheeses.
The full list of Gold Medal Cheese and other Dairy product winners can be found at The Show website.
Written by Rachelle Williams, The Green Food Safety Coach.