New Italian Cheeses!

  • POSTED ON 21 Oct 2013

It's no secret we love cheese. We make mean cheese towers, love a cheese joke, but at the core of it all, we just love really great cheese. Particularly so, two new Italian varieties that have arrived in store. One's an 'up and comer' on the cheese scene, while the other, seen more as an ancient cheese. Intrigued by the cheese? Read on...

Nero Imperiale

From Modena, it is a new cheese and seen as a very eclectic (albeit delicious!) one on the cheese scene. This peculiarity comes from the way it is made as it is ripened for a prolonged time in underground cellars on planks of pine and Balsamic Vinegar is used in its maturing process. The rind, in turn, is similar in colour to that of the vinegar. It is chalky and white in the centre, and the taste is both sweet and sour, a result from the vinegar's process. This cheese can too be served with salads, used as part of a cheese board, or tossed through pastas to yield a creamy, complex sauce.  

 

Caciocavallo Silano

From Calabria, Caciocavallo is an ancient cheese that is produced throughout southern Italy and the Balkans. It is made strictly with cow's milk and is a 'pasta filata' cheese, which means the curd is kneaded and stretched while it's still warm. The results in a dense, elastic texture, which then allows it to be made into a spherical shape. It is aged for between 2 and 6 months, and the flavour changes as it matures. Lovely to eat alone, or grill and serve atop salads or potatoes, or work into your risotto.

 

Like to try these cheeses? They're available at our Milton Deli Cafe.








 

The Perfect Cheese Board

  • POSTED ON 18 Jul 2013

One simple, yet elegant way we're entertaining guests this Winter is with a well-sourced and curated cheese board. Not only because we adore high quality cheeses (one of life's great pleasures!), but also as it's a generous gesture that's always a hit, and with a variety of cheeses presented, all taste buds are catered for. Serve it at five when the neighbours call for drinks, or at the conclusion of a dinner party instead of a sweet dessert. We've created a guide for the perfect one, and thrown in some tips & tricks too. 

A perfect one has great variety thereby presenting your guests with tastes ranging from mild to intense, and textures from soft to hard. The easiest way to achieving variety is by serving a blue, washed rind, hard, soft and goat's cheese.

Blue cheese will most likely be the strongest you'll serve, and the blue veins within are the result of an early inoculation with mould. Classic examples would be a French Roquefort or English Stilon, and our pick is the Blue d'Auvergne, from south-central France. The mould is spicy, and works with the well-integrated salt.

Washed rind cheeses have been through the process o

f 'affinage'. They're washed with brine, sometimes wine and generally are 'stinky' and quite flavourful. We love either the Le Rustique Petit Munster or Chaumes le cremier. Both hold a luscious golden centre under their buttery pale coats.

Choosing your hard cheese can be the easiest, as many varieties fall under this category including cheddar, Parmigano-Reggiano and manchego. We really can't go past a good Comte Gruyere (and once you've tried you'll see why it's the highest produced cheese in France). The taste is strong and slightly nutty. Alternatively, try the Quickes English Cheddar, as a stalwart.

For some, a soft cheese is the highlight owing to the creamy composition. A French Camembert or Brie, with their superbly cream centres are both made from cow's milk but do have their differences. Camembert hails from Normandy, while Brie (cut from a larger wheel) is from the Ile-de-France. Either the St Andre triple cream, Le Rustique Camembert or Coeur de Lion are sure to please.

For the Goat's cheese, we love either a soft chevre or ashed pyramid from Australia's Meredith Dairy. A goat's cheese incorporates a slightly acidic taste to your board, owing to the higher acidity found in the goat's milk.

Tips and tricks!

Serve at room temperature, so take out of the fridge up to an hour before serving. Cover with a barely damp tea towel to prevent drying out.
Don't place your 'stinky' cheeses near the milder ones.
Different cheeses suit different wine, so no matter what each guest is drinking there will be something to match on the board.
Never cut the tip or 'nose' of the cheese off! It's the best part, and each slice should have a little incorporated.
Present fresh crusty bread or crackers. We adore our range of Lavosh bites and Falwasser wafers.
Introduce some sweetness via finely slice fresh fruit (apples, pears or figs), dried fruits (South Australian candied cumquats or muscatels) and a fruit paste or jelly (we love the Spanish quince paste!)

Note! Until the end of July we're offering 20% off whole wheels of French cheese, making it even more tempting to put together your perfect cheese board! You'll have to be quick, it's only until stocks last.

Bastille Day Cheese Special

  • POSTED ON 10 Jul 2013
We are stocked to the rafters with French cheese in preparation of Bastille Day. We are offering 20% off* whole wheels of French cheese till the end of July or while stocks last - get in quick. Select from: St Andre triple cream, Le Rustique Camembert from Normandie, Le Rustique Petit Munster- washed rind, Coeur de Lion camembert and triple cream Chaumes le cremier washed rind.
*Applies to units of cheese, not cut wedges<

Top 3 European Spring Cheeses

  • POSTED ON 02 Jul 2013
This is such a gorgeous time of year in Brisbane, lovely sunny winter days and crisp winter nights. Dinner parties around fire places and with every dinner party there comes a time for a little bite of cheese . The versitility of cheese means it can be served as a started as you are waiting for your friends to arrive, in your dish or as a final palate cleanser to finish your event off. As the European Spring cheese collection reaches its fullest we have the age old battle between the French and Italian style cheeses.

Serving cheese as a starter can kick start your night and we love the use of French cheeses to prepare your palate for dinner. It works well to start with some triple cream, brie or soft washed rind and serve with either a champagne or cider. This style of cheese is perfectly matched with a small handful of candied cumquats or seasonally fresh figs or cherries.

Our top three French cheeses for Spring:
1. Chaumes from Perigord, South West of France. It arrived last week at our Milton store, a light washed rind made from cows milk with mildly acidic and smokey undertones.
2. Sant Andre Triple Cream a classic triple cream which never disappoints.
3. Chevre aux Epices which literally translates as goat cheese with spices.

In wrapping up that fabulous dinner party, ensuring a memorable finisher  cheese is always a good choice. It will also leave you feeling less guilty if you are steering clear of too much sugar. Italian cheeses are generally more suited to follow a dish due to their sharp textures. A traditional Italian dining experience would see slabs of cheese placed on the table at the end of a dish.

Our top three Italian Spring cheeses:
1. Pecorino Amarone a gorgeous sheeps milk hard cheese with amarone infused throughout the cheese and amarone grapes pressed on the cheese.
2. Gorgonzola Piccante a gorgeous Northern Italian cows milk blue cheese which is aged over at least 90 days.
3. 50 day old Taleggio, which once left beyond the 50 day soft rind period leaves a gorgeous farmhouse cheese.

Buon Appetito!

Barber's 1833 English Vintage Cheddar

  • POSTED ON 10 Mar 2013

Barber's 1833 English Vintage Cheddar, is our cheese of the month. There is only one word to describe this cheddar - 'Yum'. It is packed full of real cheddar flavour... it's crumbly but not too crumbly and has a rich finish on the palate. 

The Barbers' have been making cheese on their farm in Somerset, UK for six generations. Their cheese is made using traditional starter cultures, rich milk from their cows, and always matured for at least 24 months. Even better, it is great on the back pocket, on special this month for only $3.50 per 100gr normally priced at $5.60 per 100gr. Grab yourself a chunk of cheddar!