Our terrific friend Andrew put us in touch with Kirsten cheesemaker at the Old Gerringong School house. She has been working on some wonderful ideas and today sent us our first sample with these notes:
"Just a quick update on the garlic experiments. I think I mentioned that I had coated a batch of our small, fresh farmhouse cheese discs with the powdered black garlic and a little salt, while another batch was coated with a paste made from whole black garlic, salt and olive oil. In terms of ease of application and the 'neatness’ of the finished product, the powdered garlic was preferable. But I think I might have been a little bit heavy handed, because after maturing for a couple of weeks the garlic flavour was very prominent. I enjoyed the flavour, my husband preferred a balance between the flavour of the garlic and the flavour of the cheese. Last Monday I tried again using the powdered smoked garlic with a little salt. I was more sparing in the application and I think the result will be better."
Now having tasted the discs of fresh farmhouse cheese coated in smoked powder we think Kirsten is right! See these photos of the samples. Look forward to more experimentation. None available commercially yet but watch this space.