TASTEBUD TEST: Turn up for the Scenic Rim Eat Local
Fest and try some Camel Milk Cheddar.
TASTEBUD TEST: Turn up for the Scenic Rim Eat Local Fest and try some Camel Milk Cheddar. DAVID L KELLY

Camels get a cheesy smile at Winter Harvest Festival

IT'S EASY to eat, but much-loved cheddar cheese is one of the hardest varieties to make.

Add camel milk, which has less fat and lactose than cow's milk, into the complex process and until now, it has been all too hard.

That's all before the brains behind Summer Land Camels, Jeff Flood, embraced the challenge and developed the world's first camel cheddar.

Visitors to Eat Local Week's signature event, the Winter Harvest Festival at Aratula on July 6, will be able to taste some of the 350kg of Camel Cheddar produced by Summer Land Camels at Harrisville, just an hour from Brisbane.

Flood and his team have spent the past year researching and refining their camel cheddar. They first had to learn how to make cheddar with traditional kinds of milk, then combined this with their knowledge of camel milk. Research commissioned from the University of Queensland to come up with an approach to making camel milk cheddar was the finishing piece in the puzzle.

It's taken a while and the help of Michael Reeves from Pure Artisan Cheese at Mt Tamborine, one on Australia's experts in cheddar cheese-making, to come up with a finished product.

"We were making a cheese that has never been made before, so there was no template to work from, no timeline to follow, we were literally making our own history," said Jeff Flood.

He said the flavour of the Camel Cheddar continually evolves.

"It began as a very mild cheese, with a delicate and smooth mouth feel. It's unique, really different from anything in the world now."

Scenic Rim Eat Local Week runs until July 7 and is the ultimate backstage pass to the farms, wineries and food stories of the region.

Full program at eatlocalweek.com.au.

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