Chamela is a fresh, lactic cows’ milk cheese made from certified organic Fleckvieh milk. It has no rind and is best eaten soon after purchase. With a fine, mousse-like texture and a fresh milky taste that is simple and appealing, this cheese is very happy to be accompanied by: slices of heirloom tomato, plum, fig, fresh herbs, truffles, drizzles of olive oil or honey, for example, and is your friend at breakfast or dinner. Chameleon is part of this cheese’s name, the other part is in honour of a great cheese lover and friend, Melanie, who made the first batches with me last year.
Milk is supplied by dairy farmers, John and Irene Crawford, who milk a herd of 130 or so Fleckvieh cows once a day on their farm in Darnum, West Gippsland. The cows eat hay and grass exclusively, no grain is fed and their farm is currently certified organic.
The milk is gently batch pasteurised then inoculated with lactic acid bacteria. A couple of hours later, a tiny amount of rennet is added and overnight the milk sets. The following day, the buckets of coagulated milk are ladled into crottin moulds and the whey drains away. The remaining curd is flipped and salted with Olsson’s sel gris on both sides then wrapped and refrigerated ready for delivery.
The little wheels will benefit from a daily flip to keep the texture even and need to be kept in a sealed container, or wrapped in cheese paper or aluminium foil, to prevent cross-contamination from odours in the fridge.