Australia boasts one of the world’s leading dairy industries. A variety of dairy products are produced here because of its clean, lush pastures and diverse climate. With the access of technology from England in 1850s, it started making more than 160 varieties of cheeses. Washed rind cheeses are originally from the alleys of northern France, made famous by the monks who invented them. It was a deliberate attempt to develop the meaty flavour in the cheese as people have to abstain from meat for long periods of time. Washed rind cheeses are periodically washed in a solution of saltwater brine, wines and/or mould-bearing agents so that their surface becomes responsive to bacteria. This bacterium (Brevibacterium Linens) “smears” the cheese with a firm, palatable, bright red/orange rind and imparts pungent odours and distinctive flavours to the product. Also known as surface ripened, the cheeses can be soft, semi-hard, or hard. Some common examples are Titlist, Gruyere and Raclette who have their rinds washed during the maturation process to develop a crusty shell. This rich cheese has a robust aroma with a sweet, earthy flavour that is a little nutty. Since the cheese is complex in taste, pair it with fruits or toasted fruit bread.
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