Guy’s guide to local cheese


For details of our local cheese makers, see the relevant part of the Local Food Directory.

There is a world of difference between hard cheeses and soft cheeses. Stinky cheeses are a very different proposition than non-stinky cheeses. Goat cheeses taste very different than cow cheeses. And vegan cheeses are now a real thing. Luckily for us, our local cheese makers cover all of these bases, as summarised in the table below.

What do
they sell?
Where do they sell?
Own shop? Other shops? Online? Markets?
AVS Organic Foods Watsonia North vegan . yes yes .
Pantalica Cheese Thomastown Italian yes yes yes .
Stone & Crow Cheese Warrandyte South goat and cow . yes . .
That’s Amore Cheese Thomastown Italian, mainly soft yes yes yes .
The Cheese Rebels Epping . . . . .
Wholemilk Continental Cheese Company Heidelberg West Italian, mainly hard yes yes . .
Yarra Valley Dairy Yering goat and cow, mainly soft yes yes . .


Unique Australian cheeses

yarravalleydairy1Yering-based Yarra Valley Dairy is a local producer of many soft cheeses, including goat cheese. My current favourite is their Hubert’s washed rind cow’s milk cheese. If their own shop (70-80 McMeikans Road, Yering) is too far away for you, they have a variety of other local outlets, including: Croydon Brewery; Jefferies, Croydon Hills; Kellybrook Winery, Wonga Park; Lettuce Inn, Hurstbridge; Mitcham IGA X-press; Paul’s SUPA IGA, Ringwood East; Ritchies SUPA IGA Yarra Glen; and Wandin Valley Produce.

Warrandyte South based Stone & Crow Cheese is another maker of unique cheeses, both cow and goat and from soft to hard. They are located at Rob Dolan Wines (21-23 Delaneys Road, Warrandyte South), where you can buy their cheeses 7 days a week.

Italian cheeses

wholemilk2One of my favourite local, hard cheeses is pecorino pepato (pecorino with peppercorns) from Heidelberg West-based Wholemilk Continental Cheese Company. Both tasty and very reasonably priced. If you go to their shop/factory (32 Kylta Road, Heidelberg West, 3081), like I do, you get presented with a range of Italian cheeses in wheels, bags or logs and they cut off the requisite amount for you.

That’s Amore Cheese, based in Thomastown, is another local maker of Italian-style cheeses. Its range is extensive and, even where this range overlaps with that of the Wholemilk Continental Cheese Company, the cheeses can be very different. For example, their pecorino is a semi-soft cheese rather than hard. The main source for That’s Amore Cheese cheeses is their own shop in Thomastown (66 Latitude Boulevard), which is also a cafe and a deli. You can also buy online

Pantalica Cheese, also based in Thomastown, is another local maker of Italian-style cheeses. Again, its range is extensive, including bacio, bocconcini, halloumi, mascarpone, mozza bella fresca, parmesan and ricotta. They have their own shop in Thomastown (49-65 Trawalla Avenue) and also sell online


Finally, if you want vegan cheese, AVS Organic Foods sell a wide variety of vegan cheeses, including online.

That covers the local cheese makers. In addition, there are lots of places to buy non-local, but still Australian-made, cheddar/tasty. But if you want to taste the full range of cheeses, you have to sometimes go European. Here are the three places which I frequent the most often for European cheeses (bearing in mind that I live in Eltham), and what I tend to buy:

  • Eltham Deli: includes manchego, wensleydale, caprakaas and gruyere (optionally sliced to order).
  • Bolton Street Deli, Eltham: includes caprakaas, strong or mild (rather strangely, they sell this cheese unmarked) and gruyere.
  • Jones The Grocer, Westfield, Doncaster: a wonderful, refrigerated, walk-in cheese room (but not the cheapest).

Or, if you want to really pamper yourself with cheese delivered to your doorstep, you can order a range of unusual European cheeses online from Brunswick-based Cornelius Cheese.

And, of course, you can buy just about any cheese imaginable at Queen Vic Market.

The flavour of a piece of cheese varies throughout – the flavour is often more intense near the rind, and the texture there will be different from that at the centre. In order to get a taste of everything in each piece, different cheese shapes require different cutting techniques. Read how to cut each shape of cheese.

Finally, for my friend Mary who refused my offer of some ripe, triple cream cheese on the grounds that it would be too fattening: see the article entitled “Can a diet of cheese help you shed those excess pounds?”. Their answer is an emphatic ‘yes’! And, as we all know, if it is in a newspaper then it must be true!

 Leave a Reply