This pulled curd cheese also known as ‘Quesillo de hebra’ was first introduced by the Italians who settled in the area in the 1500s. This cheese, a derivative of Mozzarella from the southern part of Mexico
Making of… & Tasting Notes
Traditionally made using semi skimmed milk but these days made with full fat cows and goats milk it is a softer style cheese eaten fresh. Prepared much the same way as you would with Mozzarella the cheeses close textured interior lends well to being plaited and can weigh from mini 100g cheeses up to 3kg.
It can be salted directly or stored in a brine solution and stored for up to 7 days.
The cheese has a slightly lactic sometime sour aftertaste with a creamy texture, with the aroma of fresh milk
Also known as ‘Gebnah beda’ or white cheese found in various places throughout the Middle East but originated from Egypt and named after the port of Damietta.
The cheese is first mentioned in 332 BC, made of Buffalo milk traditionally but in recently history has been made with Camel, Cow, Goat & Sheep’s milk. Sometimes a mixture of all of the above.
The salt is added during the production before the rennet, pickling the milk.
The curds are pressed and sliced into rectangular pieces.
The cheese is eaten fresh after cutting, or tinned and aged for 3-4 months.
The locals prefer the cheese fresh where it has a saltiness similar to feta and a squeakiness very much like Haloumi.
From the northern Alpine region of Italy near Milan.
Named after the Bitto river which runs through the valley. In the summer months the area is a well known tourist destination and during the winter the alpine region is covered in snow.
It is during the summer months when the cheese is produced, much like Beaufort the cows graze high on the hills and take advantage of the spring grasses producing the best milk for the cheese. The winter cheese production is called ‘Valtellina Casera’
Some of the strict regulations state that the milk must be made from the milk of local dairy cows, goats cheese is used but no more than 10%, this allows for longer aging times.
The cheese production must commence no more than 1 hour after the milking.
The cheese are shaped in to concaved cylindrical moulds, they are matured for 70 days for the fresh cheese and at least 6 months for the aged version.
Each wheel weighs between 8-15kg and are 30-50cm in diameter with a height of 8-10 cm at the edge.
With an intense rich fresh grass notes, fruity overtones and a gentle goat cheese acidity as the cheese ages.
A small pear shaped cheese made with cows milk from Southern Italy, traditionally this was a way of preserving butter as the cheese encases a small amount of butter inside. Dating way back to before refrigeration this was prepared in every farmhouse across the South of Italy.
Sometimes referred to as ‘Mule’s testicles!’ due to the way they hang the cheese in pairs. Not really conjuring up images of delicious things!
For export the cheese it is dipped in a wax.
Making of …
This cheese has an inner layer of butter and the cheese is drawn up around the butter encasing it and tied at the top, much in the same way as with Burrata.
These little cheeses are generally tied together on string in pairs and stored in this manor for up to 6-8 days. They can be aged up to 6 weeks in some cases.
Burrini have a mild buttery taste as you’d expect.
Sometimes referred to as a Provolone cheese and can be aged for up to 6 weeks where the flavour becomes more pungent.
Also known as ‘Manteca’ in Puglia, and ‘Butirro’ in Calabria.
Oh the list is endless, needless to say if you like to drink something with some particular cheese then do it!
Don’t worry about what people tell you, everyone is different with our own tastebuds, of course there are suggested options that pair well but if their not to your liking do you own thing!
Here is what I’ve found works for me over the years, of course you may differ but that’s ok.
We’ll, start by working our way down the cheeses and I’ll suggest cheeses from the list that I personally think works best.
These are cheeses which have been produced and have had no aging, so no more than a week old and to be enjoyed soon after production. Like Mozzarella, Ricotta etc.
A fresh wine like a fruity Sancerre or refreshing Rose BEER
A light refreshing crisp ale like a lager CIDER
A fresh apple cider with a little sweetness FORTIFIED
A Spanish Sherry with a little sweetness SAKE
Either a dry refreshing Junmai Ginjo or a sweeter Umeshu
With such fresh cheeses and gentle flavours it’s best to not have anything too overpowering. Anything with a crisp refreshing mouth feel that’ll match nicely with a gentle delicate flavoured cheese
WHITE MOULD CHEESE
All Brie & Camembert cheeses are classified as white mould cheeses, as well as triple cream Bries. But here they have been put into their own category below.
White mould cheeses are the most versatile of all the cheeses, they marry well with numerous beverages.
White wine of a dry and fruity nature such as Sauvignon Blanc & Rose
Dry barrel oaked wines such as Chardonnay
Full bodied red wines such as Shiraz & Cabernet Sauvignon BEER
Crisp refreshing Pilsner style cheeses
Dark full bodied beers CIDER
Classic savoury Normandy Cider FORTIFIED
Port or Sherry SAKE
Like wine, from the dry minerality to the sweet dessert wine style
With a delicate interior of the cheese it pairs well with dry wines
More robust Bries such as Brie de Meaux can handle the stronger full bodied red wines
Fresh crisp beers can withstand the stronger style Bries & Camemberts
Dark heavier beers can give a coffee/chocolate & cream effect
Camembert & Cider both hail from Normandy making them a perfect match
The sweetness of a fortified can pair wonderfully with the creaminess of a white mould cheese
Sake like wine, will pair with all manor of white mould cheeses
CHEVRE/ FRESH GOATS CHEESES
The dry crumbly citrusy cheeses such as any Holy Goat cheeses from Victoria.
Or classic French Goats cheeses from the Loire valley such as the ash coated St. Maure, or Chabichou du Poitou.
A fruity wine, such as a Sancerre, Riesling, Sauvignon blanc, Un-oaked Chardonnay or fruity Rose.
An equally fruity sparkling wine such as a Champagne or sparkling wine from the Loire valley.
A sweet dessert wine, like a Late harvest Botrytis or similiar. CIDER
French Cider, these tend to have more savoury apple notes than the sweeter versions outside of France BEER
A crisp fresh Pilsner, Wheat beer with more malty notes such as a Kronenbourg Blanc. SAKE
Junmai Ginjo – A fruity and semi dry Sake, similiar to a Sauvignon blanc
All of the above suggestions match the gentle acidity and fruity notes in these cheeses
Sancerre is France’s Sauvignon Blanc and grows in the Loire valley.
The Loire Valley was originally the home of French Sparklings, until the Champagne region became the largest producer. Hence the name, Champagne now being well known as French Sparkling.
The dessert wine would give a lovely contrasting flavour to the goats cheese, much the same way as you’d drizzle some honey over Goats cheese.
WASHED RIND GOATS CHEESE
Or strong soft goat’s cheeses, such as a Mothais sur feuille, which is matured in very high humidity and gives way to a softer, creamy fudgey interior. These cheeses when aged can have quite a punch to them, leaving the gentle acidity behind and bringing forth more of a zing on the palate.
A sweet dessert wine as you would with a fresh crisp goats cheese.
A robust red wine such as a Pinot Noir, but try to steer clear of anything with too much tannin such as a Cabernet. FORTIFIED
A fortified such as an aged Port or a Spanish Sherry such as a Pedro Ximenez. WHISKY
A whisky, such as a Japanese or Scottish Whisky variety. Possibly not an American Whisky as the smokiness can over power the cheese I find. BEER
A classic Pale Ale, with a hoppy finish. SAKE
Umeshu – A sweet dessert Sake, with a sweet yet slight sourness.
With such a tang to these cheeses they behave similarly to a washed rind so you can pair them with something more robust to bring forth their subtleties.
The sweet wine and fortified will mellow the tang.
A whisky will bring forth the smokiness.
The red wine and Pale Ale will enhance the sweet leaving a creamy texture.
Be wary of red wine with non aged goats cheeses, the wines tannin and the cheeses acidity create a very unpleasant mouth feel. Be sure to taste your combination first before unleashing it on your guests!
WASHED RIND CHEESES
Generally your smellier cheeses, with a sticky rind due to the washing during its maturing period. These cheeses are best eaten and smelt little, they have an oozy texture that coats the palate. Created by the monks who used to eat these cheeses on their ‘fasting days’, which is why sometimes these cheeses are referred to as having a meaty texture!
Such things as Epoisse, Taleggio and Raclette are the most well known.
Washed rind cheeses are best with a dry fruity white wine such as a Gruner Vetliner with a savoury finish.
A sweet Sauternes lends well to these cheeses. BEER
With these cheeses having such a strong taste, and softer washed rind a yeasty taste, they lend well to heavy Trappist beers such as Chimay or a light Stout (Porter). CIDER
Depending on the strength of the cheese a Cider can be a pleasant pairing.
Epoisse is washed in a pomace brandy, so best paired with the same. The ‘meaty’ texture lends well to such strong flavours. Also from Burgundy, so the old adage what grow together goes together. It brings forward the creamy texture.
Raclette being from more Alpine areas, the local wines tend to be more minerally which match the savoury character of the cheese.
A sweet wine would hide a little of the punch whilst still allowing the flavours to penetrate.
A savoury cider would allow for a little sweetness contrasting with the cheese whilst also allowing the full flavours to come though.
The monks were the ones to play with cheese and created their Trappist beers, both having yeasty notes, they really do marry well together.
Such as the Dutch Wyngaard Chevre, Midnight Moon or Queso de Cabra from Spain
These aged semi hard goats cheeses still have a little of the goats cheese acidity but also have a more mellow sweetness that comes through the cheese and a fudgey texture in the mouth
A dry fruity wine such as a Gewurztraminer, or similar sparkling wine.
Sweet dessert wine with Pineapple notes, or try a more gentle fruity Riesling or Chablis with a savoury finish. BEER
A crisp Pilsner or Wheat beer. SAKE
Umajun Junmai – a nutty savoriness and yet a gentle citrus note.
A sparkling wine to bring forward the cheeses sweetness.
Dessert wine to match the sweetness with the acidity of the Goats cheese.
Beer to refresh the palate with crisp bubbles
Sake to provide lively vanilla notes and finish with a crisp citrus to contrast the sweetness.
These cheeses are not for your faint hearted. Most definitely creamy and with minimum 70% fat content it’s not a cheese I recommend eating everyday. But, we have some wonderful suggestions on how to tone down that creamy mouth feel when you cant help but to over indulge!
So, whether you’re into your Brillat Savarin, Delice de Bourgogne or many of the other incarnations, this one is for you!
This type of cheese matches with so many things its hard to narrow down, but here are some of the ways I’ve enjoyed
it. . .
A dry classic French Champagne
A light fruity Rose, to bring forth memories of ‘strawberries & cream’
A sweet dessert wine such as a Vouvray
For something more heavy this cheese stands up to a full bodied Cabernet BEER
A crisp refreshing Pilsner
A heavy Stout, try a Chocolate Stout ‘chocolate & cream’ CIDER
A full flavoured apple cider with gentle sweetness, I prefer the Sidra del Verano from Spain FORTIFIED
With a Tawny Port or for a sweeter version try a Spainish Sherry, Pedro Ximenez WHISKY
A blended malt whisky from Speyside in Scotland, called Monkey Shoulder SAKE
Umeshu – A sweet dessert Sake, with a sweet yet slight sourness.
A Sparkling with lots of bubbles helps to cut through the richness of the cheese
Whilst I’m not a huge fan of dark beers, this is like a chocolate and beer cream delight.
However the bubbles in a Pilsner lightens the cheese cutting through the richness.
The sweetness in the Port helps the cheese feel like a all in one dessert luxury
This particular Whisky has a lovely mellow sweetness that pairs so marvelously with this cheese.
A fruity Sake reminiscent of a dessert wine.
SEMI HARD CHEESES
So, now we’re talking of cheeses such as Ossau Iraty, Chebris & Alpine cheeses such as Uplands pleasant ridge from America, or France’s Comte & Beaufort . . . Manchego which we’ll come to later.
Some of these cheeses are made during certain times of the year but for arguments sake were going to put them into this category for now!
Classically a dry fruity white wine pairs best with Alpine cheeses such as a Vin Jaune
Fruity full bodied red wines have their place too BEER
Belgium Pilsners, with a crisp finish or Pale Ale with more hoppy notes FORTIFIED
Tawny Port or local Topaques SAKE
Karakuchi – with a minerality and upfront fruity notes, perfect for complex cheese flavour profiles
Vin Jaune made in the Comte region (what grows together, goes together)
Ossau Iraty used to have such a pungent aroma/taste that heavy red wines were used to mask the cheese. Thankfully this is no longer the case however the tradition still remains and with its fudgey texture pairs quite well with a fruity full bodied Pinot Noir.
Belgium beers are fruity enough whilst having enough savoury notes to match the complex cheeses
Ports with their sweetness bring out the more savoury notes of these cheeses
Karakuchi Sake, with its minerality makes it a perfect fit for savoury cheeses bring out out its subtle flavours
CLOTH AGED CHEDDAR
Talking of classic British cloth bound cheeses (although there are some great American ones too known as ‘bandaged wrapped’) such as Cabot. These are drier and crumblier than your supermarket versions with a tang that lingers on the palate due to the cheese being aged for 12 months or more
Depending on the strength of the cheese, a hearty red wine such as a Shiraz
A dry oak smoked chardonnay BEER
A bold brown ale FORTIFIED
A Tawny port SAKE
Umeshu, a sweeter style fruity sake
A hearty red wine can match the the strength of a sharp cheddar without becoming overpowering
The oaked Chardonnay will match the dryness of the cheese bringing out the grassy notes
Unless you have an Isle of Mull cheese which has strong whisky overtones so a whiskey would be best!
A full strength beer would match the cheddar without being too strong, what grows together goes together. British Cheddars are best with hearty British ales.
The sweetness of a fortified Port or Umeshu sake contrasts with the sharp cheddar bringing forth other subtle nutty flavours
BUTTERY SOFTER CHEDDARS
Gentle Cheddars such as Cantal, Barbers Cheddar or Double Gloucester which have a more buttery texture and softer notes.
A fresh fruity wine from the same region BEER
A crisp pilsner style beer CIDER
A crisp savoury cider, not too sweet WHISKY
A blended malt whisky from Speyside in Scotland, called Monkey Shoulder
The wine would contrast the butteriness of the cheese bringing other flavours through
A Pilsner style beer would cut through the buttery notes with its refreshing bubbles
A refreshing French style savoury cider to contrast the butter notes
This particular Whisky has a lovely mellow sweetness that pairs so marvelously with this cheese.
A sheeps milk cheese, these generally have a natural oiliness to them with hazelnut overtones
A big bold red wine with heavy tannins
Local Rioja wine BEER
Spanish beer from the La Mancha region with malty notes FORTIFIED
White Spanish Port CIDER
Sweeter Spanish cider like a Sidra del Verano
Manchego is a cheese that pairs wonderfully with heavy tannin red wines and compliment each other
The malty notes of the beer pair beautifully with the nuttiness in the cheese
Spanish Sherry with its sweeter notes brings out the subtler cheese notes
A savoury Spanish white Port would match the savoury notes of the cheese allowing others to come to the fore
The sweeter Spanish cider contrasting the savoury notes of the cheese
Aged Goudas have been aged for 12 months or more and as they age the flavours intensify from a caramel sweetness to a grainy salty texture.
Riesling or something floral
Champagne or something bubbly FORTIFIED
Karakuchi – with a minerality and upfront fruity notes
The floral notes will mellow out the intense sweetness
The bubbles will have the same effect as above
Sherry will match the cheeses sweetness and contrast its saltiness
The Sake with its minerality will match perfectly for complex cheese flavour profiles
Blue cheeses tend to vary in strength but have a saltiness throughout the pate with a strong smell
A sweet dessert wine with fruity pineapple notes
A dessert wine, like a Late harvest Botrytis or similiar. BEER
Full bodied Pale Ale FORTIFIED
Port or Muscat
Spanish Sherry like a Pedro Ximenez WHISKY
The sweetness mellows the saltiness of the cheese
The beer will match the strength of the cheese allowing other notes to come to the fore
The sweetness of the fortifieds pair to bring forth the gentle blue cheese flavours
This whisky has lovely vanilla notes with a gentle smokiness that matches with the cheeses intensity
Be wary of red wine with some blue cheeses, the wines tannin and the cheeses react to create a very unpleasant mouth feel, Metallic almost. Be sure to taste your combination first before unleashing it on your guests!
FLAVOURED HARD CHEESES
Such things as a coffee rubbed rind Bella Vitano American cheese, spiced Cumin Gouda, Isle of Mull Cheddar
These cheeses are interesting as they have so many options due to their flavourings
BELLA VITANO ESPRESSO (coffee rubbed)
Pair with either a coffee or caramel flavoured drink to match the cheese
or a crisp wine or beer to contrast
Pair with either a spiced Rum or Whisky to match the cheese
or a sweeter fruity wine like a Riesling to contrast
ISLE OF MULL CHEDDAR
This cheese is made with the milk of cows which are fed some of the leftover draff from the local whisky distillery.
Pair with a local Whisky to match the cheese
or a crisp refreshing white wine like Sauvignon Blanc to contrast
No matter what you enjoy, there is no wrong or right answers. You’ll be amazed just how much the cheeses can change with what you pair with them.
Everybody has different tastebuds!
A cheese produced in the North eastern part of Italy.
The PDO restricts the cattle & milk to be from the area in order to be called Asiago.
Around 1600, Asiago was first mentioned during an important festival featuring wool and cheeses. The production of Asiago is comprised of 4 Northern provinces; Vicenza, Padova, Trento and Treviso.
Asiago is a town in the Vicenza region, 1000mtrs above sea level.
This cheese is said to be one of the oldest cheeses from the region dating back to . Latin texts mention dairy production in the region during the 5th Century.
During the time when the church would demand ‘rent’ paid in cheese. At the time ewes milk was used, then later cows milk. The PDO became very important to preserve this cheese and its region.
Asiago is available in 5 ages.
Asiago Fresco (Fresh)
has a partial cooking of the walnut sized curds, when it is then salted and then pressed into moulds where the cheese has its stenciled banding applied to imprint the name of the cheese. After 3 weeks it is released yet the cheese doesn’t reach maturity until after 50 days of ripening. It is said to be best enjoyed before 2 months of age.
With a soft elastic texture and irregular eyes, it smells like butter with an yoghurt like acidity, sweet with a slight acidity on the palate.
Asiago Stagionato (Aged)
The milk is left to settle where the cream is removed from the surface and then go through the same process as above with more pressing to remove excess whey.
Asiago Mezzano (Medium)
aged upto 6 months with a compact texture, smells of milk and fresh grass with a sweet taste.
Asiago Vecchio (Old)
aged up to 16months with a firm texture, smells of grass and fresh fruit, mostly pineapple sweetness notes.
Asiago Stravecchio (Very Old)
aged for 15 months or more. A hard textured cheese, golden in colour with very small eyes and notes of dried fruits and spices leaving a sharp aftertaste on the palate
Manouri is a Greek a fresh whey cheese made from pasturised goat or sheeps milk. Generally made as a by-product of feta production from Thessalia and Macedonia in central and northern Greece
Making of … & Tasting notes
The cheese is made with the addition of milk and/or cream to the whey. Manouri is a creamy and mild cheese with a texture reminiscent of a cheesecake. It has a milky, slightly acidic flavour.
Also known as Manoypi it is used in pastries such as spanakopita or drizzled with honey.
This creamy cheese with no casing is also served for breakfast as a low-fat alternative to Greek yogurt.
Manouri has a light aroma, is slightly sour, similar to that of fresh yogurt, it has a clean, subtle nutty flavour and the barest hint of tang.
Manouri is a cheese that can also be used for grilling, much better for you than Haloumi and lower in salt too.
A classic French goats cheese from Loire region, on the west coast of France.
This mini Chevrot is made from pasteurised goat’s milk from a cooperative that has been operating for a century or more. This cheese weighs in at only an 80g nugget. It is aged for 20-60 days, after it has been hand ladled into little moulds before being set aside to drain and become the little pearl we know and love.
A classic dense citrusy centre with a brain like rind which softens slightly under the rind.
Like all goats cheeses pair with a refreshing Sancerre to enhance the sweetness of the cheese, maybe with a drizzle of honey for a picnic. But really this gem can be enjoyed on its own!
We have one of Australias most loved goats cheese dairies.
Holy Goat well known for producing amazing Goats cheeses, they have Australias only certified Organic goat herd.
Anne-Marie and Carla have started up this wonderful dairy just outside of Bendigo in Voctoria, in Sutton Grange.
They learnt their craft travelling around the world but honed their craft in Ireland. When they returned home they set up their Holy Goat dairy and have helped Australian cheese industry as well as starting up a National Association for sustainable agriculture.
Traditionally a French fresh cheese made from unpasteurised cows milk, in this case Goats milk. It is smooth in texture with a fresh citrus finish. Fromage frais under goes a lactic fermentation process making it very good for you. It is a very low fat cheese which still has live cultures when sold.
Available in 200g & 1kg tubs, ideal for savoury and or sweet dishes.
Available in small barrel shapes at approximately 140g this fresh cheese has a super smooth melting quality with a rich creaminess, a lingering sweetness and a gentle acidity just as you’d expect from a goats cheese.
Also a low fat cheese and being a goats milk cheese this is much better for people with lactose issues as lactose is not carried into the milk like cows milk cheeses.
Very similar to the Silk above, this particular cheese in a 220g pyramid shape has been ash coated creating a striking visual appearance between the black ash and the pure white of the goats cheese.
A 130g white mould cheese with an underlying surface of ash under rind. Aged for four weeks before being released when it is young, creamy, sweet, nutty and delicate. As the cheese matures further the interior becomes velvety soft, with a melt in the mouth texture and a grassy, nutty flavour profile.
A white mould chese weighing in at 130g. This cheese however is just a vessel for the interior of the cheese.
Cut the lid off the cheese to reveal a soft velvety oozy interior. The rind in no way is intended to be eaten, essentially just a lazy mans fondue with an oozy centre. A mild flavoured spoonable goats cheese.
An ash covered pyramid weighing n a 180 grams, inspired by France’s Jacquin du Berry.
With a creamy breakdown of under the rind becoming more pronounced as the cheese ages. With a dense nutty interior and a classic goats cheese acidity this is a well rounded rich cheese to be enjoyed as part of your cheese platter.
La Luna a cheese continually winning awards throughout the Australian cheese industry.
A beautifully well rounded goats cheese with a brain like (Geotrichum) rind holding a gentle citrus acidity, creamy texture and that classic chalky interior.
Available in a variety of sizes to suit every occasion, such as the barrel at 110g, the baby at 50g and the larger format of the ring at 1.4kg
Made using the same recipe as the La Luna, coated with ash for more tang and a slight earthy twist as the ash draws moisture from the cheese intensifying the flavour.
Ash covered ring with a wrinkly rind, creamy texture and amazing depth of flavour. Named in honour of their formative time working in Ireland where Brigid’s Wells are sacred sites all over the country.
Available in a smaller ring shape than the La luna above.
A goats cheese log weighing in at 110 grams it has a soft texture with the popular (Geotrichum) wrinkly rind.
A more recognisable format of well known goats cheeses from France.
It has a slightly yeasty, creamy texture with a sweet aftertaste.
A young, thimble sized, white rind cheese.
Being so young this cheese has the classic chalky goats cheese texture with a soft moist interior.
These tasty bite sized cheeses are perfect as an hors d’ouvre weighing in at a mere 6grams each.
Recognised as a traditional region food product and therefore protected under the Italian banner of ‘traditional foods’.
Mascarpone originated in the area southwest of Milan, Italy. Dating back to the 16/17th Century.
The name is thought to derive from Mascarpa, a milk product made from the whey of a young and barely aged cheese, or from Mascarpia, a word in the local dialect for ricotta, although ricotta is made from whey. So, a little confusion on that one!
Mascarpone is white in colour and spreadable. It is used in various Lombardy dishes, and is considered a speciality in the region where it is sometimes used in place of butter or Parmesan to enrich risottos.
Essentially Mascarpone is made from pasteurised full fat cows milk and with the use of a little acid is coagulated into what we know as Mascarpone cheese.
However variations are made with the use of cream and then the acid being either, citric, tartaric or even lemon juice. Either way you get the idea.
At one time it was produced only during autumn and winter, this cheese is mostly consumed during this time as it is one of the main ingredients in the modern Italian dessert known as Tira-mi-su, perfect with chips of bitter cocoa or melted with robust liquors like rum or delicate rosoli (sweet Italian liquor).
The closest cousins to Mascarpone are English clotted cream and French creme fraiche. However, high-quality creamy ricotta or cream cheese can also be a substitute for Mascarpone.