The Weekend Series: take a cheese roadtrip
Often when we take a roadtrip, there’s a spectacular something waiting for us at the end. Sure, there’s picturesque views and amusement parks … or you could drive straight to cheese wonderland. This weekend, gather your fellow turophiles (yes, there’s a word for people like you) and head out to a local cheesemaker. Here are five we recommend …
Witches Chase Cheese Company
Make your way up Tamborine Mountain to feast your eyes (and stomach) on the beauty of Witches Chase Cheese Company. It’s a cheese lover’s dream – giant blocks of cheese bigger than your head line the shelves, gracefully ageing until they are just right. All cheese is made on site, and you can sample the likes of clothbound cheddar, aged goats cheese, triple-cream brie and the signature Tamembert. It gets better – Witches Chase shares its site with Fortitude Brewing Company.
Maleny Cheese specialises in both cows and buffalo milk cheeses, all of which you can get a taste of from the factory cafe and cheesery. Using local ingredients (you can see the cows happily grazing as you drive in) and European techniques, Maleny Cheese produces three white-mould cheeses, five Swiss-style fettas and not one, not two, but six different kinds of aged cheddar. The cheesery also stocks Maleny butter and yoghurt for a full dairy fix.
Kenilworth Country Foods
Kenilworth Country Foods was established in 1950, originally as one of Kraft’s rural cheese factories. When production was shut down, some of the local workers reopened the factory, moving from bulk operation to boutique handcrafted cheesemaking. Skills and knowledge were gathered from a number of renowned local cheesemakers, and some cheeses – including the original 1920 recipe for the Malling Red and Roma Malling cheeses – are still crafted today. Be sure to watch the makers create cheese glory from the viewing platform before sampling their work.
As the Granite Belt’s original farmhouse cheesemaker, Stanthorpe Cheese sure knows its stuff. As its cheeses are made from a single-farm, single herd of jersey cows, the weather and season effect the taste and texture of each cheese at any given time. A visit to the tasting room gives you the chance to sample of likes of the Snowfall French-style double brie, Brass Monkey Blue and The Bastard Tait – a washed rind cheese designed for true connoisseurs. Gather a selection, make a weekend of it, stay in town and work on your night cheese.
Short on time but still want your cheese fix? Trot on over to Coorparoo – you can visit a cheese factory right here in Brisbane. Olympus Cheese’s master cheesemaker Michael Gavriel and team use traditional Cypriot methods to handcraft every batch of cheese, which includes cows milk haloumi, fetta and ricotta, and buffalo milk haloumi and fetta, that you can buy direct from the factory. YUM.
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