SAY cheese, and Justin Telfer will give you a big smile.
Because the North Coast cheese-maker has at least four good reasons to be cheerful. His company, Bangalow Cheese Co, has just collected several awards at a highly-competitive Sydney show.
And he’s been approached by one of the biggest players in the French market, Yves Boutonnat, to consider exporting his prize-winning lines there.
“Selling cheeses into France – that’s quite a compliment,” Mr Telfer said.
It’s a move guaranteed to get up the noses of France’s gastronomic snobs but it’s also sure to place the Northern Rivers on the international map for the excellence of its culinary products.
Mr Telfer joins other local foodies, such as Brookfarm Byron Bay Coffee Company, to show the world that this area is nonpareil for the quality of its produce.
His Nashua Washed Rind won a gold medal at the 2010 Sydney Royal Cheese and Dairy Produce Show, where it was one of 860 entries this year, including milks, yoghurts and butters.
It was also awarded the acclaimed Champion Fancy Cheese, as well as Champion Bovine Cheese. And his Bangalow Cultured Butter was awarded a silver.
Washed rind is so called because it is washed every two days in a weak brine solution and ‘cocktail’ of yeasts and moulds that help give it a distinctive orange colour and strong flavour.
He said he was ‘really happy’ with his products now.
Although Mr Telfer’s factory is at Corndale, he lives in Nashua, and is delighted that his Nashua Washed Rind will help to put the hamlet on the map.
All his cheeses take their names from nearby locales, including the Federal fetta (a gold winner at both Sydney’s and Brisbane’s cheese awards last year) and the Tintenbar Triple cream.
Bangalow Cheese has grown to a three-man business and several ‘friendly competitors’ have recently emerged.
“We have established the Northern Rivers Cheese Board to support each other,” he said.
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