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A cheesy tale

When it comes to a true cheese legend, Australian Will Studd has few competitors. An award-winning author, Studd was named a Maitre Fromager (Master of Cheese) by France’s Guild des Fromagers. We caught up with him when he was in Delhi to talk about iconic varieties of cheese, and the wines that go with them.

Bibek Bhattacharya | Print Edition: August 24, 2008

Maitre Fromager
When it comes to a true cheese legend, Australian Will Studd has few competitors. An award-winning author, Studd was named a Maitre Fromager (Master of Cheese) by France’s Guild des Fromagers.

We caught up with him when he was in Delhi to talk about iconic varieties of cheese, and the wines that go with them. 

Feta
Feta

Feta is a brined curd cheese traditionally made in Greece from sheep’s milk. According to European guidelines, Feta must have at least 70 per cent sheep’s milk, the remainder being goat’s milk. Produced in blocks, Feta is an aged cheese that is salted and cured in a brine solution for many months, producing a dry, grainy texture. PAIR IT WITH: Feta is usually had best with sparkling wines.

Gouda

Gouda
Gouda mostly comes from the Netherlands, which is, after France, the second-largest exporter of cheese in the world. It is a smooth-washed curd cheese with a dense, smooth and supple texture. This is obtained by diluting the whey with hot water in the vat. This dilutes the lactic acid in the curd. The process is called “washing the curd”. It is made from cow’s milk and develops a caramel sweetness once it ages.

Pair it with: A “sweet” cheese like Gouda is best had with dry red wine and crackers.

Roquefort
Roquefort


The world’s bestknown blue cheese comes from the south of France. It is also one of the oldest kinds of cheese, traditionally made from ewe’s raw milk. First made in caves high up the hills at the village of Roquefort, the specialty of the cheese is the distinct blue mould. Nowadays, they’re still made in these caves, where a temperature of 8 to 10 degrees Celsius is maintained. High in fat, protein and minerals, Roquefort has a distinct mild, sweet and smoky taste with a salty finish. It is undoubtedly one of the classics.

Pair it with: Roquefort cheese is best had with Sauvignon Blanc, or sweet fortified wines

Gorgonzola
Gorgonzola

This is Italy’s best-known blue cheese, and is made from unskimmed cow’s milk. The name comes from the village of Gorgonzola near Milan where this type of cheese was first made in the Middle Ages. It is made by removing the whey from the curd and aging at low temperatures. During aging, metal rods are inserted to create air tunnels through which mold spores germinate, creating the distinct blue veins. The texture can be firm or buttery, and it is crumbly and quite salty.

Pair it with: Although Gorgonzola is blue cheese, due to its salty taste and “bite” from the blue veins, it can be enjoyed with sweet and fruity young red wines.

Emmentaler
Emmentaler


Most of us picture Emmentaler cheese whenever we think “cheese”. This cheese with holes, made in Switzerland, has been popularised by Tom & Jerry cartoons. Honeycombed with small holes throughout, the Emmentaler is a skimmed-milk cheese of medium-hard thickness, and a sharp taste. Although it isn’t the only kind of Swiss cheese, it is almost synonymous in popular imagination with cheese made in Switzerland.

Pair it with: Emmentaler cheese is best had with white wine and sour dough bread.

Cheddar
Cheddar

Another famous variety of cheese is Cheddar, a type of semi-cooked processed cheese first made in the Somerset region in south-west England. A quintessential English farmhouse cheese, it is characterised by its sharp taste.

Pair it with: Although Cheddar cheese is traditionally paired with white or sparkling wines, it also goes well with Australian reds like Pinot Noir or Merlot.

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