For most of our trip to Tasmania we were hosted by Halsey Swetzoff and Tess Peterson, cheese makers who work at the Bruny Island Cheese Company. I first met Halsey a few years ago at a wedding of a relative. We are related through my stepmom. At the time, I thought It slightly odd how he was passionately talking about the different cheeses during the dinner party to various guests. Later, I learned it was his profession. Aside from cheese talk, he also told a story about an embarrassing wedding toast in which he had complimented the eighty year old bride on her “beach bod”. It was a good laugh and we kept in contact. When we started planning our trip to Australia I thought of Halsey Immediately. Aside from cheese making he is also an avid surfer. When a place to stay was offered, it was a no brainer.
Upon arriving in Bruny, we met Halseys girlfriend Tess Peterson. As another relative had remarked before we left, we quickly found out the they are “good peoples”. Both Halsey and Tess moved to the remote Bruny Island to work for Nick Haddow, owner of the Bruny Island Cheese Company. Nick traveled Europe extensively learning about the methods of cheese making. He decided to take this knowledge and open up his own shop on the beautiful Bruny Island. A few years ago Halsey and Tess were put in contact with Nick and they decided move to Tasmania where Halsey became the head cheese maker of the acclaimed cheesery. They work hard, and make great cheese.
Our first Day on Bruny we were welcomed to their shop and had a blast tasting their delicious different varieties. They make around 7 different cheeses, and are the only place in Australia that makes a raw cow’s milk cheese. The shop is a lovely place that also sells fresh breads, pizzas, jams, relishes, olives, and a few other goodies. My favorite of the cheeses was the C2 raw milk cheese, it really had such a great sharp, yet somehow subtle flavor. The Saint, which I would guess is close to a camembert, was a great little soft cheese. Although I am certainly not a cheese expert, I will say these were among the best cheeses I have ever tasted.
Halsey and Tess invited us over to film a bit of their cheese making. I guess I had been so wrapped up enjoying the cheese the first day we were there, that I somehow thought I had captured some of the store and cheese tasting it self. Unfortunately, as I sat down to edit this video I quickly realized that was not the case. As a result, this video is more a hard hitting real life story of the daily cheese makers grind, without all the fluff and glamour of the front of the house. This is what the best real cheese makers do day in, day out. Real, hard, no holds barred....kinda
If you're interested in trying some of these award winning cheeses visit the Bruny island cheese company website and if your a real cheese eater, they have a cheese club membership offering the best of the best (and rare!) selected 8 times a year.