You made cheddar cheese out of what now?
AFTER a year of testing and perfecting the recipe, farmers from Summer Land Camels have made what is believed to be the world's first camel cheddar.
The team at the Harrisville farm, under the direction of co-owner Jeff Flood, spent the past year researching and refining their camel cheddar, and are excited to unveil their new product at this year's Scenic Rim Eat Local Week festivities.
"We were making a cheese that has never been made before...ever. So, there was no template to work from, no timeline to follow, we were literally making our own history," Mr Flood said.
Cheddar cheese is difficult to make. The complex process begins with 'ripening' the milk (usually full-fat cow's milk) to turn the lactose into lactic acid.
However, because camel milk has less fat and less lactose than cow's milk, making camel cheddar has always been considered an impossibility.
But Mr Flood was up to the challenge. He first had to learn how to make cheddar with traditional milks, then combine this with their knowledge of camel milk and research commissioned from the University of Queensland.
After planning the trial process, they approached one on Australia's experts in cheddar cheese-making, Michael Reeves from Pure Artisan Cheese at Mt Tamborine.
By their own admission, their first batch was not great. But they persisted, with each batch an improvement from the last.
Mr Flood said the flavour of the Camel Cheddar continually evolves as they monitor it through the aging process.
"It began as a very mild cheese, with a delicate and smooth mouthfeel. It's unique - really different to anything in the world now."
Summer Land Camels have produced about 350kg of camel cheddar for its Eat Local Week festivities, which kick off next week.
You will be able to try the camel cheddar at one of the farm's events, or at the annual Winter Harvest Festival in Aratula on July 6.
This isn't the first time Summer Land Camels have made a world first - They made the world's first camel milk and honey flavoured vodka last year.
Scenic Rim Eat Local Week runs from June 29 through to July 7 and features more than 90 events. It's the ultimate backstage pass to the farms, wineries and food stories of the region, a celebration that features festivals, farm-gate events and culinary experiences for foodies of all ages.
To see more Eat Local Week events, log onto www.eatlocalweek.com.au.
Summer Land Camel Farm Eat Local Week events:
Tour and Taste
When: 11am on June 30, then July 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5.
Meet the team and find out how they produce the world's best quality camel milk, cheese, chocolate, gelato and skincare. The tour finishes with a selection of the delicious produce in one of Queensland's most beautiful settings. Wear enclosed shoes.
Little Farmer Humpty Day
When: 9am-2pm on Wednesday, July 3.
Come dressed as a farmer! Entry includes kids farm tours, bag of feed, patting and cuddling the camels, story time, camel arts and crafts and face painting. Extra activities: kids camel rides $15, junior cameleer experience $5. Food available for purchase all day.
Cost: $10 per person. Children under 3 free, extra activities and food available for purchase. Bookings are required by July 2. Wear enclosed shoes.
Taste and Make Camel Cheese
When: 1pm on Friday, July 5.
Meet the head cheese maker at Summer Land Camels and learn the secrets of making the world's most unique cheeses.
Cost: $80. Bookings are required two days before.
Summer Land Camels is located at 32 Charles Chauvel Drive, Harrisville.
For more information, phone 5467 1706 or email email@example.com.