Saturday, 03 December 2016
Goa is not synonymous with cheese, but over the years as tastes have evolved and the hospitality sector has advanced, there’s certainly demand. Several artisans have taken the opportunity to produce and sell excellent quality homemade Cheese in Goa.
For many fine dining restaurants in Goa, including Tavern at Fort Tiracol Heritage Hotel, using quality, gourmet cheese made in Goa ties in with a strong sense of responsibility to use local produce as well as cater to international taste buds.
Here’s a few enterprising folk who have committed to producing and selling homemade cheese in Goa, creamy, tasty delights that never fail to warm the cockles of our hearts!
Swiss Happy Cow
Owner Barbara learnt the tricks of the trade with cheese manufacturers in the Alps for more than a decade before moving base to India and producing her own line of homemade cheese in Goa. She now sells more than 15 varieties of traditional Swiss cheese made exclusively with organic and natural ingredients. There’s everything from Camembert, feta and fresh herbal cheese, to ricotta, artisanal matured goat’s cheese and a blue made with goat and cow milk.
Where can I buy this from? Barbara, who works out of her home in Siolim, takes orders on the phone and also sells her delicious homemade cheese at major outlets in north Goa.
This eponymous cheese is developed by Maia Donadze, a proud Georgian – from that tiny little country in Eastern Europe – who brings the tapestry of her heritage to her tempting varieties of homemade cheese. In Goa for nearly two decades now, Maia uses organic and natural produce and coats her maturing cheese with 99.99 per cent graphite that prevents the growth of unwanted blue mould. Her homemade cheese includes cream cheese, mascarpone, sour cream, feta, cheddar, queen blue, blue bree, MaiaJano and others.
Where can I buy this from? From her unit in Palolem in South Goa, Maia supplies supermarkets in Goa including Magsons and Delfino’s, as well as a number of restaurants. She’s also available to set up cheese tables at weddings
Kama Artisanal Cheese
Alfred Valles went from law to computer networking before finally figuring out his love for cheese. His pizzeria Piccola Roma with Italian Kharis Gasparri necessitated the use of good quality cheese. Lots of it. The answer: Homemade cheese. In Goa, fresh, non-commercial mozzarella was not the easiest find a decade ago, so with help from cheese connoisseur – and eventual business partner – Mukund Naidu, the duo started Kama Artisanal Cheese. The outfit refuses to use any preservatives, and offers smoked mozzarella, buffalo mozzarella, feta, ricotta, bocconcini, mascarpone and others. It also makes buratta during the tourist season, a gooey cheese ball of solid mozzarella on the outside and creamy cheese on the inside. Smurp!
Where can I buy this from? While the cheese is used extensively in the restaurant Piccola Roma, Kama products are available in supermarkets such as Newton’s and other local markets in north Goa.
Ok, so this venture isn’t located in Goa, but is close enough in the Satara region of Maharashtra. Until recently our little state was its biggest market. The Russo-Indian couple, Olga and Charudatta Babar, take pride in producing European-quality homemade cheese at their factory, where more than 20 varieties go out the doors. Corona Dairy makes more than nine tonnes of cheese through the year, rising to 16 tonnes in winter. They sell mozzarella, cheddar, parmesan, Gouda, emmental, edam, ricotta and mascarpone among others.
Where can I buy this from? Corona Dairy has niche customers including five-star hotels and restaurants. Oscar’s Junction delivers products to certain areas in South Goa, while Aj’s Supermarket stocks their products