This cheese is made with raw milk. Raw milk, that stuff that comes out of a cow (or a sheep, or a goat). Pure, unadulterated fresh milk, natures finest from happy, well loved animals that roam free in paddocks and do as they please. Cheese made by an artisan producer with the highest level of attention to detail, made with passion and skill (in a clean, temperature controlled environment that abides by strict safety standards). Sounds perfect, and it tastes pretty darned amazing as well.
But you can't eat this cheese.
Bacteria they say, raw cheese is packed with the stuff. Bad for you. Nasty bacteria, causes all sorts of problems. Best just to eat uniform cheese that has been mass-produced – that way everyone will be safe from that nasty bacteria.
Well, here's the thing, cheese is made from bacteria, that's what makes cheese, cheese. Otherwise it would just stay in its milky form. And I'm pretty sure human beings have been drinking their milk raw for a lot longer than we've been able to homogenise and pasteurise it for mass consumption. I might be missing something here, but I've no idea what the problem is. If I want to eat this cheese, it's my choice right? Wrong.
The sale of raw milk and cheese made from raw milk is illegal in Australia – with the exception of France's Roquefort cheese, and a couple of other European Swiss varieties: gruyère, emmenthal and sbrinz - all of which are made using unpasteurised milk. But this is import only, Australian producers can't sell their own interpretations of these, or any other cheese for that matter.
Nick Haddow from Bruny Island Cheese Co. has been trying to get permission to sell his raw milk C2 cheese for over 18 months
Slow Food Australia has been calling for an end to the strict, and often politically motivated, scare campaigns and regulations concerning raw milk cheese for some time now:
"A defence of a food that has for hundreds of years inspired, given pleasure and provided sustenance but is now being insidiously undermined by the sterile hand of global hygiene controls."
If you like, you can add your voice to the Slow Food Australia campaign to enable Australian producers to make cheese from raw milk here.
For the personal consumption of the cheese maker only.
It would be impossible to fully explore the issues surrounding the consumption of raw milk and raw milk cheeses in these few hundred words, but please, if you are interested, go and find out more. Most of us just don't know what we are missing out on, we don't know what real cheese should taste like, smell like, or feel like. Someone sitting in a fancy office is making this decision for us and that's not okay.