Raw milk cheesemaking as a battle (Part I)

It is as if Nick Haddow, the cheesemaker was part of a Dostoyevski novel, far away in deep Siberia. Of a sturdy build, he has this determined posture which is very similar to the one of a Cossack posing for the painter. He speaks with this lingering tone of boredom, answering with a sigh, as I asked the seemingly too often heard: “Why do you think there are so many cheese maker in Australia who don’t believe in raw milk cheese?” He answers, cautiously, as walking on a minefield: “ask them!”

I will, indeed (see next week’s post). But I insist. I want his opinion. He gives me a part of the reasons: “It costs a lot. I invested $80 000 in special equipment, trials and lost the cheese which wasn’t good enough and had to be thrown away. It was a long and expensive journey managed with the Tasmanian Dairy Authority“. In the end, he became the only one officially allowed to produce raw milk cheese in Australia. I like this kind of personality.

Try his C2. The hard paste raw milk. The name sounds like a spaceship or a robot. He obviously didn’t try to find a poetic French name… well, I have a guess, Bruny Island Beau-fort, perhaps. On the contrary, there is a sense of humour in this C2 name, which stands for 2C of Cooked Curd.

The cheese maker has established his plant on Bruny Island in Tasmania. Two local producers he knows well supply the milk. His adventure started in 2003, when he opened his business. In 2007, he was allowed to sell raw milk cheese. Currently, he produces 10 wheels of it each week. Then it is matured in cellars for at least 6 months before commercialisation either at his shop in Tasmania or through email order.  “I don’t sell to delis, as I want to control the quality and the way it is sold. I prefer not to take the risk to see cheese being left in shop fridges for ages.”

Before, he was a chef. He made the first attempt at cheesemaking in his kitchen before taking a trip around the world to discover more about traditional fermentation and cheese tradition. “Unlike Europe, here the herd grazes outside the whole year. They don’t need sheds and they are fed with green grass the whole time. This is an advantage. I believe the quality gap between imported cheese and Australian made is closing all the time”

Orders online: http://www.brunyislandcheese.com.au

To find out more about the campaign for raw milk cheesemaking:

http://www.slowfood.com/international/23/raw-milk


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About frenchozzie

I have been working in a daily Newspaper in the French-speaking part of Switzerland, amidst vineyards, close to the Olympic Games headquarters in Lausanne, and amongst world class gourmet restaurants in a land with breathtaking views of the Alps. But now I am here in Australia for good.
This entry was posted in food and politics, Salt and pepper, Tasmania and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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