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Granite: 12 month cheddar style cheese from Long Paddock

Words by Richard Cornish
Images Supplied

They say patience is its own reward. We have been watching these beautiful big wheels of cheese slowly mature over the past 12 months. Every time we visit Long Paddock Cheese in Castlemaine we have asked, “are they ready yet?”. And now Granite is ready.

Granite is a cheddar style cheese that has been wrapped in cloth and sealed with lard to allow the 8kg cheese wheels to slowly mature. This method also helps the rind develop a complex community of moulds, yeasts and bacteria that help promote the complex flavours within the cheese.

‘A lot of cheesemaking is about the development of micro-organisms’. says French-born cheesemaker Ivan Larcher.

Ivan and his wife and fellow cheesemaker, Julie Larcher, relocated to Castlemaine from Limoges in France two years ago to found Long Paddock Cheese and cheesemaking school. Despite COVID, their cheesemaking school has been a run-away success with classes booking out shortly after opening to sales. Long Paddock cheeses have met with similar acclaim gracing the tables of some of Victoria’s best restaurants and sold through topline cheesemongers, as well as factory sales through the Long Paddock store in the Mill in Castlemaine.

Granite is a triumph of cheesemaking. It is named for the granite that dominates the hills around Castlemaine and refers to the colour and texture of the rind, a stony looking grey. Cheddar cheeses undergo a technique known as cheddaring in which the curds are milled and stretched which leads to the distinct cheddar texture. Granite has a semi-hard, dense yet crumbly interior that is daffodil yellow in colour, and moist and buttery on the tongue. Its flavour is complex with grassy and buttery aromas, a hint of earth, a clean line of acid and long satisfying umami deliciousness.

Grill it, put it in a toasty, serve it in a ploughman’s platter, put it on a cheeseboard or do the English thing and eat it alongside a fruity eccles cake. This is a great iteration of the famous Cheddar cheese that is distinctively its own beautiful creation.


THE DETAILS

WHAT: Cloth bound cheddar cheese
WHERE: Available from Maker & Monger, Prahran Market, Ripe Cheese, Queen Victoria Market, K-sein Fromagerie at South Melbourne Market, Harper & Blohm, Brunswick and Alphington, Abbotsford and Bendigo Farmers Markets and Long Paddock, Castlemaine
WHEN: From April 4
MORE INFO: Long Paddock Cheese

We wish to acknowledge the Dja Dja Wurrung people as traditional owners of this land and to pay our respects to their Elders, past and present.
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