The perfect wine and cheese combination is a match made in heaven; just the way Gods would have wanted humans to enjoy life. Both get better as they age. Every bite of a ripened or a creamy cheese will leave you craving for more. So, why not get into collector’s mode and garnish your kitchen with finely textured crusts or rich smeary spreads packaged in shiny glass jars? You could also show off at your next party by laying out the best cheese on a silver platter! If this sounds like an appealing plan, ABC Farms and Millie’s Kitchen have some of the best products for you.
Millie Mitra of Millie’s Kitchen can even offer you one more boast value — that of staying trendy by storing artisanal vegan cheese. The Bengaluru-based company makes cheese from plants and nuts, each set personally cured by hands, in small batches. The limited edition hard cheese is available in four eccentric flavours — sun-dried tomato and jalapeno, burnt chilli garlic, crushed black pepper and creamy original. And the spreads come in two more variants that include rosemary thyme oregano, and garlic and pink salt. You can place an order for its gift hampers if you live in Gurugram, Mumbai or Bengaluru. Mitra is also ironing out logistics to cater to the fans of her vegan cheese in other cities as well. South Mumbai’s famous Kala Ghoda café is one of her bulk-order clients. “When I turned vegan 27 years ago, it was unheard of, in India. Today’s youth is more conscious of the impact the food on their plate has on the environment and on their health. People these days decode what they eat and more of them are warming up to the idea of vegan food products,” says Mitra. But of course, the greatest things don’t come cheap. A 175-gram jar of cheese spread will cost you Rs. 500 whereas 150 grams of hard cheese is worth Rs.600.
If you don’t like to take risks and experiment with food, you could look at Pune-based ABC Farms. Four decades old in the business, Sohrab Chinoy and his daughter run these farms, where they produce everything from the familiar cheddar and mozzarella to the premium and aged French Morbier and Pecorino. They cater to all kinds of customers — from those who are seeking tonnes of cheese or even if you want just a kilo or two.
Morbier and Pecorino come at a hefty price of Rs.3,000/kilogram while the others range from Rs.1,500-2,500 per kilogram. ABC Farms also offers a special truffle cheese made by incorporating the US-imported truffle mushroom in cow-milk cheddar. The cheese takes three to four months to ferment and will cost you Rs.3,000 for a kilogram. “The truffle fungi is awfully expensive and yet I have kept my margin low for this product. It is an unusual product and I want more people to try it,” says Chinoy. An order for this special variety has to be placed quite in advance because only six to eight batches are made in a year. “We have a client in Mumbai who has been ordering around 10 kilos of truffle cheese every few months, for two years now,” he adds.
If buying one type of cheese will not satiate your cheese fancy, why not get a little bit of everything? You could also surprise a cheese-lover friend or family member with a gift hamper of best-assorted cheese slices. These hampers are customised as per the buyer’s needs and the order has to be placed in advance. The price of the hamper depends on the varieties and the quantities of cheese used. “We don’t mind making gift hampers if that keeps our customers happy. In fact, we even add a bottle of wine to the assortment on special demand,” shares Chinoy.
Now host that long pending house party in your backyard where glasses filled with good ol’ wine can dance to the tunes of cheesy bites.