WOW! I love Bruny Island Cheese. I first encountered them nearly a decade ago, at the Taste of Tasmania Festival in Hobart where I sampled an incredible soft white mould cheese that was cured between sheets of Huon Pine veneer. It was one of the most incredible food experiences of my life. As a child, I used to craft things from timber with my grandfather. He taught me about all the Tasmanian timbers, their unique colour, grain and smells. Of all Tasmania’s timbers, Huon Pine is the most prized. In addition to a range of other properties, it has a unique smell. The thought of imparting this into Tasmanian artisan cheese was spectacular. And so was the cheese.
Alas, with my dreadful memory, I couldn’t remember the island on which the cheese was made and spent about five years searching high and low. In typical fashion, I could only remember the symbol of the business, a gumboot. I asked in cheese stores all around Australia for the Tasmanian cheese company whose symbol was a gumboot and I would explain this beautiful cheese I’d tried. It wasn’t until many years later that I had any reprieve from the scornful looks of shop assistants expecting more information than I was simply able to provide. I was in the cheese shop inside the Sydney Fish Markets, and the kindly assistant’s face lit up when I asked. She knew the answer to my question, and knew why I was so keenly asking. ‘Bruny Island Cheese Co’, she said. I was dismayed, to this day I can’t believe I’d forgotten Bruny Island. My grandfather and I used to go fishing off Bruny Island. It was his favourite spot. He grew up in the Huon Valley, not far away, where they grow spectacular apples. He was the son of an orchardist you see, but there aren’t nearly as many fruit trees there now, back in his day, Tasmania was the Apple Isle. Anyway, I found my cheesemaker.
I signed up for the Bruny Island Cheese Club, and recently received a fabulous package in the mail. It included my first ever wheel of Smoked Truckle, a lovely firm cheese with strong mushroom characteristics. When I first laid eyes on it, I thought it looked like atroll’s toe, but heavens it tasted devine. I was also stoked to see a tub of the One Day Old cheese marinated in olive oil and roasted pepper, a favourite of my partner; as well as the fabulous C2, Australia’s only raw milk, cooked curd cheese. The piece de resistance was the ever popular Otto, a lovely fresh cheese wrapped in prosciutto, served warm, gooey after a spell in the oven. Heavenly.