Current Issue #488

Cheese Matters: Sniff the Cheese

Cheese Matters: Sniff the Cheese

If you’re wandering around the east of Adelaide in late October and you get a sniff of cheese, don’t think that your olfactory is deceiving you.

Some 20 or so specialty cheesemakers will be arranged in the beautiful parklands at Rymill Park with several handpicked restaurants and some of South Australia’s best winemakers and brewers. If you are a lover of all things cheese, this is your festival 2012 will mark the seventh year of CheeseFest in South Australia, now Australia’s biggest cheese festival.

The idea of having a festival to celebrate cheese was influenced by my many visits to several festivals overseas. I loved the thought of visitors moving from stall to stall tasting different cheese styles, chatting with the cheesemakers and having the opportunity to try mostly local cheeses all in the one space. In 2006 the inaugural CheeseFest was held in McLaren Vale. It attracted 1200 cheese lovers. We have since moved the event into the city. In 2011 over 8500 visitors attend Rymill Park for all things Cheese. CheeseFest is an experiential way to show off our young and growing artisan cheese industry.

This year we welcome some newcomers to CheeseFest. South Australia’s own Kangarilla Creamery, Lártisan from Timboon, Yarra Valley Dairy and That’s Amore from Donnybrook in Victoria. Cow, goat, sheep and buffalo milk cheeses will all be on offer. Stinky washed rinds, creamy Camemberts, milky Bocconcini, bitey cheddars, gooey Brie and richly complex blue vein cheese are just some of the styles that will be wafting the air.

As the cheesemakers offer visitors samples of the fruits of their labour, they also have the opportunity to talk about their passion, what’s in season and new products on the horizon. CheeseFest patron Simon Bryant will have a stall. You can watch him in action as he prepares a number of signature dishes using cheese and his own dirt(y) inc food products. Andre Ursini from the wonderful Andre’s Cucina and Polenta Bar will feature some of my favourite fresh cheeses served in Andre’s classic style. Paul Wood, Callum Hann and the affectionately named Dizzy Food Birds of Farmgate SA will also have their own stalls preparing culinary delights. This year we have asked them to share their thoughts in our Talk n Cheese marquee discussing the finer details of South Australian cheese and food.

Experts from Cheeselinks, showing visitors the process from milk to a fresh cheese, will conduct home cheesemaking demonstrations. Local artisan breadmaker, from the newly opened Boulangerie 113, Paul Triglau, will demonstrate how artisan bread is made. He will also be serving his freshly baked breads and pastries at his stall. Fresh bread and cheese has been a much loved food combination that dates back thousands of years. These two products, which are both made through a process of natural fermentation, are reliant on excellent artisan techniques.

The line up of winemakers this year includes Nepenthe, Tomich Hill, Coriole and Shingleback. Brewers from Adelaide Hills Cider, McLaren Vale Beer Company and The Brew Boys will all be offering fine pairing opportunities with the many different styles of cheeses that will be available over the weekend.

For a bit of cheesy fun we are challenging you in the Bocconcini and spoon race. Who will make it to the finish line with their Bocconcini intact and in place? Perhaps the challenge will be not to eat it before the finish line! CheeseFest is unique in its celebration of one food – cheese, and is the ideal setting to come and explore cheese. Try some styles you haven’t tried before or just sit back, relax, soak up the atmosphere, the culinary offerings and sniff the cheese.


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