Posted by Nibbler | Posted in cheese, Uncategorized | Posted on 16-09-2008

One of my projects for this year has been educating my palate with as many different cheeses as possible. My cheese fascination began last year after watching Will Studd’s Cheese Slices on TV.  I love watching Will visit the cheesemakers and learning more about the science and art of cheese making. It’s amazing how the different seasons, grasses, animals, techniques and environments take the same ingredient, milk, and turn it into so many different cheeses. Right then I knew I had to taste as many as possible.

My first foray into cheese beyond the supermarket was visiting family in France. My first visit to the village fromagerie was like a trip to the candy store! Thankfully a helpful and French speaking family member was able to step in help me choose cheese for us to take home. Lucky too that there were 4 other people to help me eat it because I chose way more than I could eat in the 4 days I was there! The next visit the owner was serving customers and even though neither of us understood each other, we both understood we had a common love. He was so patient, allowing me to try all kinds of cheese, before regretfully I was pulled away by friends and family. Of course I took panaromic photos of all of his cheese displays. (Once I figure out how to include pictures I will post them)

I returned to Sydney determined to learn more and to taste more (and as soon as possible!) but it wasn’t until March when a friend wanted company attending a cheese course that I was able to follow through on my vow. C and I attended Mcintosh & Bowman’s Goat and Sheep Cheese class in early March. I looooooved it. Ten different goat and sheep’s milk cheeses, from fresh cheese through to blue, accompanied by 4 glasses of wine. Yum! I learned from this experience that my determination to try new cheeses was stronger than my fear of the unknown.

This set me up for my biggest challenge yet….. the Blue Cheeses of the World class! Twelve blue cheeses. Nowhere to run, nowhere to hide! Me, the person who ferociously guarded the cheese knife used for brie from the evil blue cheese people, was in front of twelve blue cheeses! And I was going to eat them! Even stranger – I even liked them. No actually, there were some I loved! I never thought I would ever say that in my lifetime.

Since then I have gone to another French cheese class (which some friends enjoyed more for the champagne than the cheese!) and I have signed up for an Australian Cheese experience for later this year. C is also continuing her cheese education and she has generously shared some of her great cheese finds.I am now a regular at the GPO Cheese Room at Martin Place as well as at the Mcintosh & Bowman cheese courses.

One of the most difficult parts of trying new cheeses is choosing which cheese to try. So I joined the Mcintosh & Bowman cheese club. Once a month they send me 3 cheeses. More details later but I have enjoyed the last two months’ selections very much.

The most exciting event I have planned for my great cheese education quest is yet to come. In October I am going to a cheese judging course! I am really excited and trying very hard not to wish away all of September. Three days to learn what makes good cheese, how cheeses are judged and I am assuming three days to eat cheese!!!! I can’t think of a better way to educate my palate.

Some links to yummy cheese things: