If you head down south from the Australian mainland towards Tasmania (the southern island state), you need to cross the Bass Strait. Through this strip of water blows the roaring forties – strong westerly winds that occur between the latitudes of 40 and 49 degrees – and in the middle lies King Island. A friend of mine once kayaked across this stretch of water…I have no idea why.
The powerful winds have made King Island the location of more than 60 shipwrecks, but the island’s fertile soil has also made it home to the King Island Dairy and its many cheeses.
(source: Tasmania Online)
King Island Dairy makes a number of farmhouse and specialty cheeses ( I’m not sure if they are too big a dairy to be called artisinal), including a number of blues. The strongest is the ‘Roaring Forties’ -a creamy rather than crumbly blue which is not quite spreadable. It has slightly sweet and salty veins that bite just a little in your mouth. It is aged for 10-12 weeks and wrapped in blue wax.
They also make a softer, blue-laced white mould cheese – the blue brie. A milder sister to the roaring forties, it was almost too creamy for me. It needs to be left out of the fridge for quite a while – we left it overnight in Autumn Blue Mountains weather (so maybe around 14-16C) which was good but it really got better once it softened up even more.