Cheddar cheese might be easy to eat, but it is notoriously difficult to make. The complex process begins with ‘ripening’ the milk (usually full-fat cow’s milk) to turn the lactose into lactic acid. However, because camel milk has less fat and less lactose than cow’s milk, making camel cheddar has always been considered an impossibility.
That’s before the brains behind Summer Land Camels, Jeff Flood, embraced the challenge. Australia’s first camel cheddar will be launched during Scenic Rim Eat Local Week.
Under the direction of Flood, the team at Summer Land Camels at Harrisville, just an hour from Brisbane, have spent the past year researching and refining their camel cheddar. They first had to learn how to make cheddar with traditional milk, then combine this with their knowledge of camel milk along with research commissioned from the University of Queensland to come up with an approach to making camel milk cheddar.
After planning the trial process, they approached one on Australia’s experts in cheddar cheese-making, Michael Reeves from Pure Artisan Cheese at Mt Tamborine.
By their own admission, their first batch was not great. But they persisted, with each batch an improvement from the last.
“We were making a cheese that has never been made before ….ever. So, there was no template to work from, no timeline to follow, we were literally making our own history,” he said.
He said the flavour of the Camel Cheddar continually evolves as they monitor it through the aging process. “It began as a very mild cheese, with a delicate and smooth mouthfeel. It’s unique – really different to anything in the world now.”
Summer Land Camels have produced about 350kg of camel cheddar for Eat Local Week.
About Summer Land Camels
Summer Land Camels believes we should live feeling authentically connected. Connected to the nature around us, our health and source of nourishment.
We focus on ethical, sustainable and organic farming principles. Over 550 Australian Camels graze on our lush native pastures grown in our volcanic mineral rich soil. Sustainable production of Camel Milk and Camel Milk products are our passion at Summer Land Camels. We want our customers to experience the richness and beauty of our farm through our products.