For a city overflowing with restaurants from every conceivable culture, Canberra is sorely lacking in…
A couple of years ago, at a neighbourhood ‘block party’ (for lack of a better word), the lady who lives across the road declared that she was throwing in her rather well paid job in the Australian Public Service to make cheese. It’s not something that you hear very often, but I’m all for people following their passions – especially if it means that I am in close proximity to good cheese.
Fast forward to a couple of weeks ago, and her husband arrived at our door bearing a tub of fresh white cheese (Primo Sale) and I knew Maureen’s dream (not to mention my fantasy of living across the road from a cheesemaker) had become reality.
The Cheese Project is a new Canberra venture put together by Maureen House, one of the first cohort of graduates from the Artisan Cheese Making Academy Australia.
Maureen grew up in an Italian family on a farm in Western Australia, where cheese and butter making were part of everyday life. Her memories of cheese go back to preschool days, where she recalls eating fresh curd out of what passed for a vat (a drum over a fire in the old wash house) where her aunty would make mountain style cheeses in the winter.
A year in Italy where access to super fresh cheese was a given, even in the middle of cities the size of Naples or Rome, added more fuel to her culinary fire.
So after 20 years in the public service, Maureen decided to make a change and set up an artisan fresh cheese making venture here in the ACT, utilising local resources wherever possible.
“With the help of friends and family, I have a custom-built cheese making room within a warehouse space in Hume and I source my milk and cream from Canberra Milk”, she says.
The Cheese Project is developing a range of fresh cows milk cheeses and products. Currently, Crème Fraiche, Fresh White Cheese (Fromage Blanc/Frais style), Fresh Cheddar Curds (aka Canadian Squeaky Cheese), a fresh Primo Sale and Cultured Butter are in the range. The next step is developing some menu ideas with local food outlets.
Want to taste really fresh cheese for yourself? The Cheese Project is at the Southside Farmers Markets Woden on Sundays and available from The Essential Ingredient, Kingston.
What: The Cheese Project
Where: Southside Farmers Markets, CIT Woden (8:30am to 11:30am Sunday) and The Essential Ingredient, Kingston
When: Markets as above. Essential Ingredient – Monday – Friday: 9:30am – 5:30pm, Saturday: 9am – 4pm, and Sunday: 10am – 3pm
Contact: Maureen can be contacted on 0439 466 341 or at firstname.lastname@example.org