In the heart of the lush dairying country of Gippsland, you will find Maffra Cheese Co, owned and run by the diminutive dynamo, Ferial Zekiman. Unlike the majority of Australian cheesemakers, Ferial decided to place her focus primarily on cheddar, often more a labour of love than a smart business decision. However, Ferial utilised her chemist background to create one of Australia’s most internationally recognised cheeses.
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A striking cheese to the eye with it’s cut shape and red wax against its rich yellow body, Ferial has created a masterpiece with a cheese that has sweetness and complexity and perfect ageing. The milk comes from Ferial’s farm which gives her full control over the milking process, animal husbandry and de-stressing the cows to produce the highest quality milk for cheesemaking. This Mature Cheddar has had the time to develop a distinctive smooth flavour with slightly acidic and salty notes.
Have you ever heard of the term “Cheddaring the Cheese”? This is a process that is vital to making cheddar to remove much of the whey. The more whey that can be removed, the firmer the cheese will be. Cheddaring is the process of cutting the curd into slabs and stacking them to press out the whey. The slabs are cut up again and this process is continued. This is done until there is no more whey being expelled from the curds.