The most acclaimed cheese in Australia is from an organic farm at Sutton Grange called Holy Goat Cheese. Matt Moran travels to the farm to learn first-hand how to make it.
Holy Goat Cheese is handmade to a process based on the traditional French soft curd style using slow lactic acid fermentation.
The fresh, delicate curds are hand-ladled into individual moulds and allowed to drain slowly under their own weight. Ex schoolteachers Carla Meurs and Ann-Marie Monda are the owners of Holy Goat.
• There are 85 Saanen and British Alpine Goats in the herd.
• The business started with 3 Goats, 10 years ago
• They milk twice a day, and make cheese EVERY day-all year round.
• Their chevre won the Grand Champion Cheese and the Presidents Medal at the Royal Sydney Show in 2010.
• They have a name for EACH goat which they remember and can easily identify at a distance; they say that both being former school teachers they have acquired the skill of remembering lots of faces & names.
• Their favourite way to eat their cheese is just off a cheese board platter..
• They produce around 12 tonnes of cheese a year.
• They follow the traditional French method for goats cheese production- this does differ from the production method used for almost all cows milk and sheep milk cheese.
• They make cheese every morning from a mix of the night and morning milk.
• The milk is pasteurized at 63 degrees for 30 minutes.
• Starter cultures and a small amount of rennet are added to the milk which is poured into 10 litre buckets and allowed to ferment for 24 hours.
• This is called a “slow lactic acid fermentation.”
• At the end of this fermentation the lactose in the milk ( Sugar in the milk) has be consumed by lactic acid bacteria leaving a delicate, fine textured curd with a pH of around 4.6.
• These curds are then hand ladled into cheese moulds and allowed to drain under their own weight.
• They are turned at night and then every day for a week or more.
• Some of the cheese is eaten as fresh curd and others are ripened either by white moulds or by yeasts.
• Each process produces unique flavours and textures.
Types of Holy Goat Cheeses:
A creamy, goats milk curd with a fresh citrus finish. This delicate cheese allows the sweetness and freshness of the milk to shine. Low in saturated fats (9.6g/100g). Available in 200g and 1kg tubs.
A traditional fresh curd cheese with a fine, melting texture and a creamy lactic sweetness balanced with a tangy acid finish. Low in saturated fats (11g/100g). Available in small barrel shapes (~ 140g).
A striking, ash coated, pyramid shaped fresh curd cheese with a fine melting texture and a creamy lactic sweetness balanced with a tangy acid finish. Low in saturated fats (11g/100g). Available in pyramid shapes (~ 220g).
La Luna – Mature
Yeast rind with defined wrinkles. Creamy texture with amazing depth of flavour: nutty, citrussy and full bodied. Available in barrel shapes (~ 110g), Baby (~ 50 g),
La Luna Ring (~ 1.4kg).
Skyla Log – Mature
Soft texture and wrinkly rind. Yeasty, creamy and sweet. Available in log shape (~ 110g).
Ash covered ring with a wrinkly rind, creamy texture and amazing depth of flavour. Named in honour of our formative time working in Ireland where Brigid’s Wells are sacred sites all over the country. Available in ring shape (~ 670g).
Mature ash covered pyramid with a creamy breakdown of cheese under the rind. The dense nutty interior has aromatics. A rich, refined and rounded cheese for your table
Veloute Log – Mature
White mould surface with ash under rind. At four weeks Veloute is young, creamy, sweet, nutty and delicate. As the cheese matures the interior becomes velvety soft, melting in the mouth, with herbaceous and nutty complex flavours(~ 130g).
Pandora – Mature
Very ripe white mould cheese. Cut the top off, spoon out the rich, soft, velvety interior. Don’t eat the rind. Available in barrel shapes (~ 130g).
Young, thimble sized, white rind cheese. Velvet exterior with a soft moist interior. These tasty bite sized cheeses are perfect as an hors d’ouvre (~ 6g).