Artisan Handcrafted Cheese
Producing a hand-crafted cheese is a surprisingly instinctive art for an experienced Cheese Maker - yet, at Coolamon Cheese Co, all our cheeses are hand-crafted this way by our own, international award-winning Jenn Nestor.
Jenn - a true artisan who honours the slower, traditional hands-on methods - uses finely honed instincts derived from many years of experience in this art. She uses both her own recipes and those bequeathed to her from the founder of Coolamon Cheese Co, Barry Lillywhite.
Hand-crafting skills are, by necessity, very sensual, as Jenn will tell you. She goes even further, by claiming them to be almost “mystical”.
To de-mystify that a little, she starts by collecting the milk personally, direct from Neil & Simone Jolliffe’s nearby dairy farm and then pasteurising it herself. Throughout this activity, her careful monitoring and precision testing is much needed but her artisan instincts are allowed to take over when the milk is ready to turn into the curds, which will form the final cheese.
Jenn’s experience counts again when selecting just the right cultures, which are needed to form the curds, as this very much depends on the type of cheese to be produced. Proceeding on instincts born out of years of experience, she then begins with a deep appreciation of how the curd feels to her as she stirs, handles and cuts it.
Artisanal instincts continue to drive Jenn in her precise appraisal of the subtle aromas and tastes that have been embodied in the cheese and which continue to develop - right up to the point-of-sale. Cheese needs time to develop peak flavours in safe conditions and so, Jenn must keep a personal and watchful eye on her new infant cheeses while they “sleep dreamily” (her ‘babies’, as she puts it!) all the way through their storage and maturation.
Coolamon Cheese Co only make small batches of hand-crafted cheese at a time - batches will not always be uniform – so each are assured to have a distinctive and unique flavour, much the same as in wine making.
Jenn’s artisan approach allows innovation too. For example, she preserves traditional cheddaring methods but marries them with more progressive ideas too by using Australian native herbs and indigenous flavours. This has produced hand-crafted cheeses in our Native Flavours Range that are sure to satisfy those looking for newer food experiences.
We believe Jenn’s hand-crafted approach is not only her trademark but a hallmark for true artisanship. Her slow, patient approach - combined with a lot of skill, instinctive care and nurturing – is a valuable investment in the crafting of captivating cheese with stunning aromas, sensuous textures and, of course, remarkable flavours.