It's "the day after", and we're writing this from rainy Melbourne (as we know we won't have a chance when we get home) as we recover from the inaugural MOULD Cheese Festival and wait with our empty eskies to board the boat back to Tasmania. Yesterday was a huge day. Nick Haddow from Bruny Island Cheese partnered with Bottle Shop Concepts to bring an Australian Artisan Cheese Festival, at the old Meat Market in North Melbourne. It was a ticketed event, that sold out so quickly, many of Melbourne's cheese lovers missed out. And what a festival it was.... In addition to oodles of cheese, there was beer, wine, cider, whisky, vodka, gin, sake and fabulous food.
But enough about the extras, lets talk cheese. The patrons were fantastic - there were 17 cheese makers, 10 of whom also produce their own milk on farm (including us and Bruny Island Cheese). Each cheese stall had up to 6 cheeses available for tasting and sale. We were so busy, we barely had time to talk to our lovely neighbours (Tolpuddle Cheese - Victorian goat dairy and cheese makers), let alone get around to the other cheese makers to connect. We did manage to meet gorgeous Thea from Shaw River Buffalo and Michael from Pecora Dairy (who makes a fantastic Sheep's milk Blue called Jumberoo), as well as catching up with old friends from Grandvewe and Bruny Island Cheese.
Most of all, though, we had a fantastic time talking to the people who make our entire operation possible: the eaters of cheese. Without customers, none of us would be able to do what we love to do - make fantastic product (and there was so much fantastic product) and look after our animals the way we want to (and we know that you want us to). So from Tongola Cheese, thank you all so much for engaging with us, listening to our story, and most of all, sharing our passion for great cheese.