For the love of cheese — make your own

Sue YeapThe West Australian
The Modern Cheesemaker, by Morgan McGlynn.
Camera IconThe Modern Cheesemaker, by Morgan McGlynn.

Despite the popularity of cheesemaking courses and kits, cheese is about the last thing in the world I would ever have thought of attempting to create at home.

Until I picked up this book from Morgan McGlynn, who has a cheese shop in North London and at 21 was Britain’s youngest female cheesemonger.

Morgan is now also a consultant for the likes of Harrods and Fortnum & Mason. The key to good cheese is high-quality milk, and McGlynn suggests using the freshest you can get, such as direct from a farm or farmers’ market if possible.

The book is divided into fresh cheese, cream and soft cheese, goat’s cheese, semi-hard cheese, hard cheese and blue cheese. Ricotta, a soft cheese, takes just three ingredients — milk, white wine vinegar and salt.

McGlynn advises not going crazy with equipment and lists eight essentials including cheesecloth or muslin and thermometer.

Morgan McGlynn.
Camera IconMorgan McGlynn. Credit: Jamie Orlando Smith

Two items, a curd knife and cheese press, may require a trip to a specialty store although she stresses you can use anything heavy instead of a press.

At the end of the book is a list of global suppliers.

The book also has recipe suggestions on what to do with all that cheese you’ve just made, including an OTT ‘naughty mac and cheese’ that contains five types of cheeses, to simpler cheese and garlic scones.

There are also chapters covering accompaniments (including an easy quince paste recipe), storage advice, tips for cheese pairing and how to present cheese boards according to season.

If all of this cheese talk is making you hungry, McGlynn’s Australian recommendations include Ashgrove Cheese Cheddar and King Island Dairy Roaring Forties Blue.

The Modern Cheesemaker,by Morgan McGlynn, $45, is published by Quarto.

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