Wednesday, September 15, 2010

An Introduction

Welcome to ‘Close to the Wedge’ – a cheese blog that I hope will be interesting and useful for people who sell cheese, write about it and who just really enjoy every aspect of it. Rather than write a ‘cheese of the week’-style blog, I really wanted to write about the topics I spend time investigating in the course of my job, such as animal rennet vs non-animal rennet, cheese and wine matching, affinage, plus reports from my visits to cheese-makers around the traps.

When I tell people I am a fromager, I am usually met by a blank look and then the question: ‘a what?’ The role of a fromager is often over-simplified as one who sells cheese, but it encompasses much more than that – including an understanding of the origins of cheese and the cheese making process, the impact of the seasons, different styles of cheese made from different milk types (cow, goat, buffalo etc), how cheeses are matured, how to match cheeses with accompaniments and beverages, and how to best store and present cheese just to name a few aspects.

While there isn’t really a ‘Fromager Degree’, there are a lot of training options for anyone keen to enter the industry. Over the years I have completed a Cheese Sensory Analysis Course, (which permits me to judge at the Sydney Royal Cheese Show each year), I have spent time visiting and working with Aussie cheesemakers, I have done some training and work experience in France (see post below), and also completed the UK Cheese Guild Cheese Diploma. Plus of course, hours and hours of selling cheese in various shops around Sydney (currently at the beautiful Formaggi Ocello in Surry Hills).

Luckily for me, I LOVE my job, so any ‘study’ never really feels like work, just fun. So, on that note, I hope you will enjoy reading my blog as much I love researching and writing it. Please feel free to leave comments or questions for me.

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