26 Jul 2017
Want to know what Australian cheese lovers are eating now? Cheese aficionado and chef, Cindy Colling, dishes the dirt.
The 1960s had its pots of oozy, goey, Kirsch-infused fondue, while in the 1970s, baked camembert and oranges speared with Coon cheese and cabanossi on toothpicks was all the rage.
In the 1980s, consumers turned their tastebuds towards Europe with French brie the cheese de jour, making an appearance at every dinner party and cocktail soiree.
Unfortunately, the 1990s saw a rise in processed cheese with annual demand in the USA for plastic fantastic varieties rising to over one billion kilograms by the beginning of the decade.
Fast forward to 2017 and we have hipsters to thank for this year’s slightly sickening technicoloured trend, unicorn toast (cream cheese, flavoured with a variety of pastel-hued super foods). But according to Cindy Colling, chef and WA rep for wholesale company, Cheese Culture, genuine foodies are currently after just one thing: true artisan cheeses (cheese made in small batches using traditional methods).
Here, she divulges what’s hot among Aussie cheese lovers.
TBT: What lead to the establishment of Cheese Culture?
CC: Cheese Culture first started with the company’s flagship store, The Smelly Cheese Shop, in the Adelaide Central Markets. The business grew to providing wholesale opportunities firstly within South Australia and Victoria and now nationally.
TBT: What do you look for when selecting cheeses to wholesale under the Cheese Culture brand?
CC: We have the most amazing people who work for Cheese Culture ranging from cheese makers themselves to world class cheese judges who select our range and can ensure the process of getting it to the end customer as it was intended from the cheese maker.
The company is exclusively aligned with many artisan cheese producers allowing us to offer a unique range.
TBT: If you were stranded on a deserted island, what cheeses would you love to be stuck with and why?
CC: There are so many cheeses that I love but three that come to mind would include Champagne Rose (see hero image) – a gorgeous pretty pink washed rind from the Loire Valley that has been washed in the Rose lees; the showcase Luigi Guffanti Gorgonzola Dolce and a robust English cave-aged cloth cheddar.
TBT: What consumer trends are you noticing among cheese lovers at the moment?
CC: A return to true artisan cheeses.
TBT: What has lead consumers to crave these cheeses?
CC: We love empowering our customers with product knowledge and with this comes a demand for cheese that has been made with love.
TBT: If you were making the perfect cheese toastie, what cheeses would you use and why?
CC: I would have a combination of a true Swiss gruyere such as the Rolf Beelar, some Emmentaler for ooziness and a gorgeous buffalo milk ricotta for creaminess!
TBT: What’s the single most satisfying thing about working with world-class cheese?
CC: I am a chef by trade. Working with amazing cheese and other passionate foodies allows me to talk food all day! I love educating my customers who in turn, pass the knowledge on to the public. It’s the best when I see others who are equally as excited about cheese as I am.
TBT: And the hardest?
CC: Working with a highly perishable and sometimes very expensive product. Logistically, getting (the cheese) from a market in France and then to a store in Perth can be a little stressful at times!
GET YOUR HANDS ON AUTHENTIC ARTISAN CHEESES
The Black Truffle stocks a great range of artisan cheeses, many carefully sourced and supplied by Cheese Culture. Artisan cheese platters can also be ordered here, and our experienced catering team can deliver bespoke grazing tables on request.