Growing up, cheese mostly referred to a bright yellow processed slice slapped between two pieces of bread. For a fancier treat, it would be the triangular pieces of cream cheese that came in a cool round box, yay!
But with more and more European and American items being added to menus across India, as well as more people traveling outside and experimenting with new foods, the Indian palate has certainly evolved over the years.
So if you’re a cheese-lover or have been afraid to experiment due to a bad taste in your mouth (thanks, Amul!), you can’t lose with these four specialty cheesemakers in the city.
The Spotted Cow is the brainchild of brothers Prateeksh and Agnay Mehra. Their experiments with making cheese started as a supplement to their home brewed beer.
But then their Camembay and Bombrie (Camembert and Brie from Bombay/Mumbai) were such hits that they gave up the beer altogether. They make their cheese from organic milk, and age it in their own basement-turned-cheese-factory.
Mausam Jotwani of Eleftheria’s love affair with cheese began as a teenager in Germany. Once her appetite for artisanal cheese was firmly established, the run off the mill processed cheeses just didn’t do it for her anymore.
So what does she do? She taught herself how to make her own cheese and produced her fromage blanc, and there was no turning back.
Mansi Jasani began her cheese expedition in 2013. After a crash course in cheese making from the Vermont Institute of Artisan Cheese and an internship at Murray’s Cheese in New York, she decided what Mumbai needed was Chevre, or fresh goat cheese.
She uses Nannies Goat Milk shipped from Karnataka to ensure the high quality of her cheeses. Her goal is not just to make cheese, but to curate artisanal cheeses, and to educate the public about cheese and what goes with what kind.
Dhvani Desai’s hobby of making cheese turned into a full time business after she sold her first batch of cheese at a farmer’s market. She specialises in fresh cheeses, hoping to fill the void that hard cheeses leave behind on store shelves.
Dhvani makes her own versions of soft cheeses like feta or chevre, and operates out of her temperature-controlled garage.
Editor’s note: At this point, the writer took an unscheduled break to order artisan string cheese and drown in it.