Burrata cheese


Posted by Nibbler | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 10-02-2010

At the RAS Cheese Show I was introduced to cheese I had never heard of before, Burrata.  

Burrata is an Italian cheese made from cows milk originating from the Puglia region. What makes it so interesting is that it looks like a money bag or pouch made from stretched curd mozzarella and inside is cream and mozzarella. When the pouch is cut the cream oozes out. Traditionally the pouch is wrapped in asphodel leaves which can be used as indicator of the freshness of the cheese. Burrata can also be sold in plastic bags. 

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.org.


The Burrata exhibited in the show today was from Vanella Cheese Factory. The taste was sweet and creamy and totally yummy.

So, having tried the cheese, it got me thinking. How do you eat or use Burrata? A quick search on google produced a couple of recipes. The recipe that interested me most was from the ‘At Home with Kim Vallée’ website. Kim combined the Burrata with vine ripened tomatoes, olive oil, aged balsamic vinegar and basil.  Although I would not normally provide a cheese recipe, Burrata in my opinion is the kind of cheese that needs to be used in a dish rather than eaten independently. 

For more information visit 


Cheese Tour of Southern Tasmania


Posted by Nibbler | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 08-02-2010

Last year I was excited to join Claudia McIntosh from McIntosh and Bowman and several other cheese and food enthusiasts for a tour of Southern Tasmania. We left early on a Friday and spent the weekend touring around Hobart and it’s surrounds enjoying cheese at Grandvewe Cheeses and Bruny Island Cheese

For me the highlights were cheese related of course! I had been dying to meet the cheesemaker at Grandvewe as I love their cheeses. Nick Haddow from Bruny Island Cheese is renown and I was looking forward to tasting his cheeses in their prime. Often the tyranny of distance was not kind to Bruny Island cheeses after their trip up to Sydney.

This weekend in the Sydney Morning Herald, Carli Ratcliff’s article recounting of our trip was published. Even more exciting for me was the use and credit by SMH of my photo of Rodney Dunn from The Agrarian Kitchen.

After bonding over a common passion, we had a fun packed weekend of whisky, cheese and food.

Royal Agricultural Society of NSW Cheese Show 2010


Posted by Nibbler | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 08-02-2010

The RAS holds it’s Cheese & Dairy Show  in February each year. Entries from both small farmhouse cheesemakers as well the big industrial cheese companies like King Island are on show. There are hundreds of exhibits every year from all over Australia.

This is the second year that I have stewarded at the RAS’ cheese show. Stewarding is hard work but fun. Stewards are responsible for fetching the cheese from the fridge, unwrapping and then cutting the cheese. Stewards support the judges as they assess and mark each cheese. Essentially, you keep an eye on the cheeses and judges, as well as run back and forth to the fridge alot.

Perhaps this isn’t sounding like too much fun, but a steward has the opportunity to watch, listen and learn as each cheese is judged. Although judging is independent (and silent) at the start of each class the judges confer on the first three exhibits to ensure that no judge is being too severe or too lenient in their marking.

Breaks in the schedule offer the opportunity to discuss the different exhibits and to understand why certain defects or flaws occur. Sometimes it is packaging, sometimes the cheese is past its prime. Other defects can occur if the cheesemaker has not stored or aged the cheese carefully.

The judges come from all over Australia and most have worked in the cheese or dairy industry in Australia for many years. Many have judged internationally. Some judges are from the food media or in the sale or distribution of cheese. (Of course judges cannot have conflicts of interest with any exhibitors). This year we had an international judge from France. As the French judge was in my panel of judges I was fascintated to learn some of the differences both in the presentation of cheese and in the judging process between our show and France. French cheese judging seems particularly strict and more regimented than the Australian system.

From 7:30am until 4pm each class of cheese and its exhibits were tasted, judged and marked. A full day devoted to cheese. My idea of heaven!