Cheese in the ‘raw’

By Lucy Barbour, Tuesday, 18 December  2012, Via ABC.net.au
Artisan cheesemaker, Matthieu Megard, from Timboon, in south-west Victoria wants to make raw milk cheese. (Lucy Barbour)

Artisan cheesemaker, Matthieu Megard, from Timboon, in south-west Victoria wants to make raw milk cheese. (Lucy Barbour)

If you could eat cheese made from milk that’d come almost straight from the cow, would you be tempted?

Or would fear of bacteria and infection put you off?

Raw milk cheese is made from milk that hasn’t been pasteurised, or heated at a high temperature.

In Australia, cheese makers have to pasteurise milk, to kill any nasties.

But artisan producers like Matthieu Megard, from Timboon, in south-west Victoria, say pasteurisation can kill the flavour and quality of the cheese.

“You can do perfectly good pasteurised cheeses, there’s no question about that,” he said.

“What you lose is complexity.”

“The commercial strains of bacteria you buy for starters or ripening cultures are great, you can mix them and get different results, but still it’s only 100 or 200 strains of bacteria.”

“In nature what you can get would be thousands of them.”

Mr Megard is working with Dairy Food Safety Victoria to try to start making hard-curd cooked raw milk cheese.

“(It’s) where they will be happy, they will be satisfied with the safety of our product, and they will be happy to be able to get raw milk cheese to the product.”

Artisan cheesemaker, Matthieu Megard (Podcast)

[audio http://mpegmedia.abc.net.au/rural/vic/countryhour/201212/r1050342_12195516.mp3 ]

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