Haloumi, Cheddar, Gouda...There is cheese talk flying around but it is difficult to concentrate or look away from a glass jar that Namrata Sundaresan has just described as ‘Apricots stewed in wild honey into which ricotta has been beaten in’. The 42 year old was in the city for a cheese-tasting workshop held at Infusions at the invitation of chocolatier Arun Viswanathan.
A selection of cheese in its various avatars was laid out for tasting. It included the divine apricot-honey affair, besides Haloumi, Feta, Mozzarella and more; some pickled, some herbed and all of them absolutely delicious. Sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, pepper, oregano, honey... the flavours are many. Namrata and her brand of cheese Kase, return to take part in the Gourmet Bazaar. The price ranges from ₹320 - ₹450 for 150 grams.
They are made from ethically sourced milk from native breeds. Namrata believes strongly in local and sustainable and goes all out to support local produce and producers. “There are no additives or preservatives in my cheese,” she points out.
- Fresh cheese can be stored for one month. However if it is opened, it is best to consume within 20 days. So buy cheese in small quantities. There is no need to hoard it
- Cheese must be protected from moisture. Always wrap it up in muslin before putting it into a container and in the fridge (NOT the freezer). Thick tissue paper also works but it has to be changed periodically
- Always serve and eat cheese at room temperature
- It is a great afternoon snack. Have it with crackers or by itself. Adding it to a salad can jazz your meal up
- Aged cheese like Brie, Camembert, Gouda and Cheddar are best to cook with. Namrata labels any cheese that is more than 10 weeks old as ‘Vintage’
“We are bringing along a variety that includes Feta; Mozarella plain, pickled and with Italian seasoning,; Halloumi plain and pickled; pickled Feta; Ricotta Apricot; and a sandwich mix. We want Coimbatore to sample our range of fresh cheese that can be included in our daily diet as a rich source of protein,” she says.
Namrata enumerates the benefits of cheese that deliver key nutrients such as calcium, vitamins A, D and B12, riboflavin, zinc and phosphorous. “It is an excellent source of proteins for those who do not eat meat,” she reiterates and says while natural and fresh cheese does contain fat it is less than 30 per cent. “It is pro-biotic and is any day better to eat natural fat than processed ones.”
For those who number crunch, here are some more statistics from Namrata: The Dietary Reference Intake is 0.8 grams of proteins per kilogram of body weight. This amounts to 56 grams per day for the average sedentary man and 46 grams for the average sedentary woman. Kase cheese, she says has 20-30 grams of protein content per 100 grams.
Namrata offers subscriptions too. You can become a Kase Klub Member where the artisanal cheese box is delivered to you every alternate week along with occasional recipe cards and other surprise additions. Members will have 15 per cent discount on all Kase collectibles like fridge magnets, coasters, mugs and cheese boards and gift hampers.
Namrata will be happy to tell you more when you meet her at the Gourmet Bazaar.
The Gourmet Bazaar will take place today and tomorrow from 12.00 noon to 10.00 pm at Whispering Stones, Near Perks School. Call 8098103007 for details