IT’S not every day you can claim your local river has inspired a new cheese – but this is exactly what’s about to happen during the Taste Tamworth Festival.
A new cheese, Peel River paneer, will be released in conjunction with the signature food event by artisan cheese maker Lyndall Dykes.
Ms Dykes, from Coffs Harbour, will run three cheese-making workshops as part of the festival. Her business is called The Cheesemaking Workshop.
She likes the energy and the people here, which is part of the reason she’s creating the new paneer, which can be stir-fried and put into curries.
“I just love Tamworth. It is a beautiful town and the people are so friendly – across my visits to the town so far, lots of locals have learned about cheese making and I’ve seen plenty of people with a real flair and passion for making great cheeses,” Ms Dykes said.
“Tamworth really embraces what we teach about making good, wholesome produce at home.”
Ms Dykes says a “little bit of love and really good-quality milk” go into making a good cheese.
She likes to use local produce, where possible, as she travels around teaching the art of cheese making.
“We use Peel Valley Milk (when we are in Tamworth) as it’s a beautiful milk for making cheese,” she said
One of its products called Gold Top Milk “makes a creamy camembert”.
Kathryn Cramer, a trainer at Tamworth Community College where the cheese-making workshops will be held, did a cheese workshop there with Ms Dykes about three years ago.
“I went just because I was curious about how cheese was made ... and wasn’t expecting to do anything about it afterwards,” Mrs Cramer, a vegetarian, said.
“I went and had an absolute ball – it was hands-on from the time you arrive to the time you leave.”
Hooked, she set up her own cheese kit at home.
“I found it empowering – I went home and showed my husband how to make ricotta,” she said.
“My husband is lactose intolerant, so I can make something he can eat.”
Ms Dykes also wrote The Cheesemaking Workshop book (first edition 2012, second edition to be released this month), a complete guide to home cheese making.
The Tamworth workshops are on April 11, 12 and 13. Each one-day workshop costs $220 and includes morning tea and lunch.
To secure your place call 6763 0600 or Ms Dykes on 6656 2335 or 0458 562 135.
Go to: www.thecheesemakingworkshop.com.au