Moving beyond our very own paneer cheese has truly arrived on our tables, be it gooey mozzarella smothering handmade pizza, or sharp cheddar beguiling our senses in mac and cheese - the ultimate comfort food! Mozzarella and cheddar may have been the go-to favourites in India, but not anymore. Today, our very own cheese-makers are enticing our taste buds with the best from across the globe - lusciously soft Camembert, smoked Gouda and so much more.
Parmesan, Gruyere and Brie might have originated in the namesake, picturesque towns dotting the verdant landscape of Europe (there’s a reason certain cheese names are capitalised!). But we have our very own claim to fame - with homegrown cheese-makers offering award-winning classics and drool-worthy bespoke concoctions - Gouda infused with jeera anyone? We bring you our pick of the best brands to savour from across the country:
Named after the region in Belgium where owner Sunil Bhu trained in the art of cheese making, Flanders Dairy operates out of Haryana and brings us a wide array of cheese. They are especially renowned for their range of soft cheese from creamy ricotta to perfectly formed Bocconcini. We recommend the Burrata, an oozy, irresistible treat that combines the sweetness of cream with the acidity of Mozzarella.
Photo credits: La Ferme
With no preservatives, La Ferme’s cheeses are made using milk from their own farms or from the villages surrounding Auroville. Made locally with sustainable practices, this Auroville resident has been making Cheddar, Gorgonzola and other varieties for over two decades. Crafted with a combination of techniques including Indian, Dutch and French, the Pondicherry based brand produces almost 10 different varieties of gourmet cheeses.
Photo credits: Himalayan Products
Based out of Kashmir, the company run by Chris Zandee offers a unique range of cheese not to be found elsewhere. From Gouda - courtesy of Zandee’s Dutch heritage - to Kalari, a local cheese native to the region, these lip-smacking offerings come to us courtesy of the fresh mountain milk sourced from semi-nomadic Gujjar vendors. Do not miss out on their flavoured Gouda, infused with everything from chilli and cumin to fenugreek, black pepper, walnut and more.
Photo credits: The Spotted Cow Fromagerie
The Spotted Cow Fromagerie
The Mehra brothers run this fromagerie based in Mumbai with the single motto, “Made Not Manufactured”. The 100% vegetarian, artisanal cheese is handmade in small batches to ensure the best quality. Famous for their discs of soft cheeses named Bombrie, Rombay and Camembay (a riff on the traditional names), dig in to the succulent centre or bake whole for an indulgent moment.
Photo credits: ABC Farms
Started way back in 1976, ABC stands for the founders Aga, Bhathena and Chinoy. Owned and operated today by Sohrab Chinoy and his family, this Pune based company boasts an enviable list of must-try cheeses. We love their Smoked Scamorza, an Italian cow milk cheese that is smoked and stretches when melted.
Follow the names to cheese nirvana!