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  1. James
    James at |

    I was shocked to discover when we arrived in London, so close to the source for all manner of cheesy deliciousness: the Brie de Meaux, the Roy de Vallee, the Wensleydale, the Stilton, the Ossau Iraty.
    Sadly when we got here we discovered that all these cheeses, and many, many more, are mass-produced supermarket cheeses. They may not be rubbish, exactly, but any food produced on such a scale is suspect, in my book.

    That being said, there are normally cheese-makers in the regions where all these fine cheeses are made (who are therefore legally permitted to give their cheese the local name) who might run a herd of only a few dozen, maybe, sheep, goats, or cows and who therefore can’t make enough cheese to satisfy the ever-hungry maw of the supermarket. They might sell their milk on to other, larger, cheese-makers, but if they choose to make their own cheese, you can often find wonderful, small-run, artisanal varieties. These are often the unpasteurised super-tasty cheeses where the cheese-makers’ art can really show what it’s capable of, but sadly these cheeses don’t travel very much, mostly because of draconian food-purity laws.

    Practically, though, to buy cheese, I used to go to the Fox farmers’ market on a Saturday morning – there were a couple of excellent cheese stalls there: David and Virginia Carr were wonderful and knowledgeable (especially about local producers) and generous. They ran a cheese-shop in Alexandria for a bit (opened after we left the country, and is now closed already, I believe), but they had a great market stall, and there was another there which was also very good. Simon Johnson on Harris St had a very fine cheese-room, I assume they still do. La Paesanella on Gerald St, down the end just past the warehouse, have fantastic Italian cheeses (Gorgonzola dolce! yum!) and they make the freshest, best ricotta you’ll find anywhere. In fact a lot of the tosser cheese-shops in Sydney buy theirs, slap a great big new price tag on and re-sell it. There is, I believe, a very good cheese-room downstairs at the Martin Place GPO thingy. There was, anyway.
    The website is a bit broken – I can’t get to the retailer list ATM, but you should have enough material there to find some cheese already. I strongly recommend the farmers’ market, though. Often great for an end-of-day bargain, too.
    Salami? You’re on your own. There used to be a really good place in Dulwich Hill, the Kasmarosski European Smoke House (402 New Canterbury Rd), don’t know if it’s still there.
    It’s frustrating not knowing these things.

  2. James
    James at |

    You mean your local market on Sunday? I certainly didn’t see much when I went there. But the one at Fox Studios on a Saturday was definitely worth a look, if you can be bothered going that far (it’s not that far, really!) There always used to be a Pyrmont farmers’ market, too, didn’t there? Maybe that’s good, but I never went.

  3. Linda
    Linda at |

    What the boy said. I suggest you go to Fox Studios, find David and Virginia and say hello from us – they are marvellous and know everything about where to source stuff, so they’re your best bet for finding something closer to home.

    I thought about becoming a cheesemaker, but the initial outlay is more than 1 million dollars, so no going there…

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