Cheese­mak­ing re­gions in Aus­tralia

Our cul­ture of cheese­mak­ing re­mains strong as it grows and di­ver­si­fies.

Australian Geographic - - Geo Buzz - By Shan­non Verha­gen

EACH AUS­TRALIAN an­nu­ally con­sumes an av­er­age of more than 14kg of cheese. So, it’s for­tu­nate that each year we pro­duce about 344,000 tonnes of it – from tra­di­tional hard ched­dars to soft, creamy bries and ev­ery­thing in be­tween. With a his­tory dat­ing back to the early 1800s, Aus­tralia’s dairy in­dus­try now di­rectly em­ploys more than 40,000 peo­ple and is the coun­try’s third-largest ru­ral in­dus­try be­hind wheat and beef. The na­tional herd is 1.6 mil­lion-strong but be­gan with just four cows and two bulls brought here on the First Fleet. There are now eight dairy­ing re­gions across the coun­try, each with its own unique set of en­vi­ron­men­tal and cli­matic con­di­tions. Cheese­mak­ers within each re­gion – both large-scale and ar­ti­san – cre­ate their prod­ucts from sheep, goat and even buf­falo milk, although most Aus­tralian cheese is still made from cows’ milk.

Bron­wyn and Burke Bran­don, from Prom Coun­try Cheese, are mem­bers of a cheese­mak­ing fam­ily with a his­tory in dairy­ing that ex­tends back to the 1800s.

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