Australia’s best on a plate!

Australian Cheeses

This festive season, entertain with Australian Artisan Cheese!
Here I have selected 10 of the best with a detailed account of what makes them so terrific!


1. Skyla

Holy Goat Sutton Grange Organic Farm – Castlemaine, Victoria

What is it?
Pasteurised, Bloomy, Organic Goat Milk Cheese made with Vegetarian Rennet

Why you need to know about it:
Skyla is produced by cheese makers Carla Meurs and Ann-Marie Monda of the Holy Goat Cheese Company on their 200 acre Sutton Grange Organic Farm. Their bio-dynamic farming principals, ethical animal husbandry style, cheese making skills and respect for the natural environment are all reflected in their unique and successful cheeses. Widely considered to be Australia’s greatest, most unique goat milk cheeses, and possibly the most awarded, Holy Goat’s cheeses are the closest thing Australia is producing to the traditional style of Goat Milk cheese from a significant French region such as the Loire Valley. The production techniques for their cheeses are based on the traditional French slow lactic acid fermentation of the curd.

What it taste like:
Skyla has a luxuriously creamy, full-bodied velvety texture, delicate, earthy aroma, a citrusy tangy mouthfeel and rustic, nutty, savoury, well balanced flavour.


2. C2

Bruny Island Cheese Co. – Great Bay, Bruny Island, Tasmania


What is it?
Raw Milk, Hard-Pressed, Organic Cow’s Milk Cheese made with Vegetarian Rennet

Why you need to know about it:
C2 follows the techniques used by the classic, raw milk, alpine cheeses of France. Cheesemaker Nick Haddow combines local Tasmanian resources, his culinary experience, world travels, respect for traditional cheese making skills and constant pursuit of integrity and flavour in cheesemaking to create one of Australia’s most experimental and exciting cheeses……. and that is without even mentioning its un-pasteurised status!! This was my cheese of choice to represent Australia at The 2011 Cheesemonger Invitation NYC; for the sheer joy of supporting a progressive, daring, inspired cheese making talent

What it taste like:
C2 has a delicate, sweet aroma, rich nutty taste and a moist, earthy flavour similar to that of a well matured cheddar. C2 has a well balanced, long lasting mouthfeel.


St Johns Brook

3. St Johns Brook

Cambray Sheep Cheese – Nannup, Western Australia


What is it?
Raw, Hard, Sheep Milk Cheese made with Animal Rennet

Why you need to know about it:
St Johns Brook is considered to be one of the most matured Australian sheep cheeses on the local market, matured for a minimum of 12 months. Cambray Sheep Cheese is one of only 12 or so sheep dairies in Australia and the only sheep cheesemakers known to us in Western Australia. The Wilde family are a true family business with Mother Jane as head cheese maker, Father Bruce sheep farming and son Tom and partner Emma assisting in the dairy.

What it taste like:
St Johns Brook has a fruity, complex flavour with hints of pineapple. St Johns Brook has a long lingering, lanolin, fatty, rich mouthfeel and is slightly sweet in flavour with crunchy calcium deposits.

4. Figaro

Woodside Cheese – Wrights Woodside, South Australia

What is it?
Smear Ripened, Semi-Hard, Vine Wrapped and pasteurised Goat Milk cheese made with Vegetarian rennet

Why you need to know about it:
Figaro was developed by head cheesemaker and Telstra Business Woman award winner of 2012, Kris Lloyd, as a more robust flavour to her portfolio of cheeses and to cater for the growing Australian demand for more complex and challenging flavours. Figaro is a ‘smear’ ripened goat cheese. The yoghurt starter culture that is used to make the milk more acidic in the early stages of the cheese production, are thought to be responsible for the unique character and complexity of this cheese.

What it taste like:
Figaro has complex, robust, savoury, meaty flavours with a floral and delicate goat milk aroma when young and becomes more pungent and farmy smelling with maturity.

5. Fromart Devil’s Foot

FROMART – Sunshine Coast, Queensland


What is it?
Pasteurised, Semi-Hard, Jersey Cow’s Milk Cheese made with Vegetarian Rennet

Why you need to know about it:
Devil’s Foot is made according to a Swiss Alpine cheese recipe and is produced using only fresh summer milk. Cheese maker and founder of Fromart cheese company, Christian Nobel, moved to Australia from Switerland in 2006 with the desire to satisfy the increasing market demand for genuine handcrafted swiss style cheese. His acquired artisan cheesemaking skills have been well received by both the growing population of Swiss-Australian immigrants and locals alike.

What it taste like:
Fromart Devil’s Foot has a sweet and complex aroma, dense, silky, moist but firm texture and meaty, nutty, savoury, pasteur driven flavour profile.

6. Pyengana Cloth Matured Cheddar

Pyengana Dairy Company – Pyengana, Tasmania


What is it?
Pasteurised, Hard-Pressed, Cow’s Milk Cheese made with Animal Rennet

Why you need to know about it:
Pyengana Cheddar is considered one of Australia’s oldest specialist cheeses, produced by 4th generation cheesemaker, John Healey. Healy values the traditional English style of Cheddar making, cloth binding and maturation techniques that were established by his great grandfather at the turn of the century. The name ‘Pyengana’ comes from the Aboriginal language, meaning “meeting place of rivers”. Pyengana Cheddar is at its best when cellared to twelve months or more.

What it taste like:
Pyengana Cheddar has rich, earthy, cellar floor, musky flavours and aroma with more butter scotchy and caramelised flavours when aged. Pyengana becomes more crumbly in texture with a grainy, crystalline, crunchy flecks when matured.

7. Strezlecki Goat Blue

Tarago River Cheese Company – Gippsland, Victoria

What is it?
Pasteurised, Blue Vein, Goat Milk Cheese made with Animal Rennet

Why you need to know about it:
Strezlecki Goat Blue is named after the Strzelecki Ranges that overlook the farm, south of the Gippsland region of Victoria. This Goat Blue is considered one of Australia’s greatest blues and is at its best at around ten weeks of maturation. Head cheesemaker and co-founder of the Tarago River Cheese Company, Laurie Jensen, has been producing cheese for over 30 years using both the fresh milk of his herd of 400 cow’s and Goat milk sourced locally. Jensen is credited as being amongst the first Australian farmhouse cheesemakers and the very first producer of an Australian farmhouse Blue cheese.

What it taste like:
Strezlecki Goat Blue has a moist, soft, sensuous texture with clean, subtle goat flavours, and a full aromatic, goaty bouquet.

8. Brinawa

Marook Farm – Hastings Valley, near Taree, NSW


What is it?
Pasteurised, Hard, Washed Rind, Cow’s Milk Cheese made with Vegetarian Rennet

Why you need to know about it:
Brinawa is made by cheese makers David Marks and his Swiss born wife Heidi Fallding on their 400 acre, bio-dynamic dairy farm. ‘Marrook Farm’ is hidden away in Elands, in the idyllic, hinterland on the Mid-Northern coast of New South Wales. David and Heidi use milk from their own herd of 60 red & white Ayrshire cattle to produce this 3kg round of Raceltte or Tilsit style, semi-hard, washed rind cheese. Unfortunately due to market demand they are better known for their award winning, bottle fermented, probiotic natural yoghurt then they are their world class cheese.

What it tastes like:
Brinawa has buttery, complex, robust, rich flavour with herbaceous, pasteur driven, grassy aromas and a long lasting, well balanced mouth feel.

Jannei Buche Noir

9. Jannei Buche Noir

Jannei Goat Dairy – Lidsdale, NSW

What is it?
Pasteurised, Fresh, Ash Rolled Goat Milk cheese made with Vegetarian rennet.

Why you need to know about it?
Jannei Buche Noir or Jannei ‘Black Log’ is both a reference to the black, ash coated rind as well as ‘Jannei’ being a combination of the cheese makers, Jannet and Neil Watson’s, names. Janet and Neil have ben producing award winning cheeses that are made with the fresh milk of their herd of approximatey 100-mostly Saanen, dairy goats, since 1996. Jannei Buch Noir is rolled in vegetable ash and is inspired by traditional preservation techniques where lack of refrigeration and packaging meant that fresh delicate curds required protecting with a faux rind or coating of vegetable ash.

What it taste like?
Jannei Buche Noir has a delicate, clean, citric mouth feel, an elegant long lasting fresh flavour and mild, delicate, fresh aroma.

Annie Baxter Cheese

10. Annie Baxter

Shaw River Buffalo Cheese Company – Yambuk, VIC


What is it?
Cooked curd, Semi-hard, Romano style cheese made with Buffalo milk, Microbial rennet and aged for a minimum of 12 months made with Microbial Rennet

Why you need to know about it?
The Shaw River Buffalo Cheese Co. are the pioneers of water buffalo milking in Australia. In 1995 Rodger Haldane, wife Sue and brother Clyde, chartered a plane from Italy and Bulgaria and imported Australia’s first herd of Buffalo and by 2000 Rodger’s son-in law was producing buffalo milk cheeses under the Shaw River label. The award winning dairy is located on the banks of the Shaw River, Yambuk, VIC.

What it tastes like?
Annie Baxter Buffalo Milk cheese is a well balanced, mild cheese with a delicate flavour profile and lingering, savoury taste.

28 Nov 2011 | Leave a comment | Filed under:Popular

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