Then its off to the Midlands to look at some of the survivors. After shooting a dodgy cheese in Lancashire, Will drops in on one of the last producers of farmhouse Cheshire, before heading to Wensleydale, made famous by Wallace and Gromit. Finally, he looks at a controversial raw milk blue cheese called Stichelton, and why its success threatens to change the way Stilton is made.
S04E02 Corsica and Sardinia
Despite being close neighbours, these two large islands in the Mediterranean have distinctly different cheese traditions. While sampling Corsicas renowned Brocciu, a soft ewes milk cheese, Will is introduced to a traditional cheese covered with maggots. After a short ferry ride and a drive into the beautiful mountains of Sardinia, he uncovers an ancient curd cheese matured in a goat’s stomach before exploring authentic Pecorino Fiore Sardo, an exceptional cheese hand-made by shepherds then smoked over an open fire.
The Canadian province of Quebec is undergoing a cheese-making revival. Will visits Quebec to find out whether the original French settlers have influenced this renaissance. After finding the oldest traditional cheese still made in North America, he visits pretty Ile-aux-Grues in the St Lawrence River to learn how a commodity cheddar producer is adapting to the changing market. Then Will heads to Montreal to visit a Benedictine monastery making Quebec’s oldest blue cheese , and a singing ‘shepherd‘, before heading for the local markets, where he meets some of the main players in the burgeoning new cheese movement.
Until recently, Portugals traditional ewe’s milk cheeses were rarely found outside the country. Will travels to the rugged mountains of the north to find out more about the king of Portuguese cheeses, Serra da Estrela. Dating back to pre-Roman times, this ancient cheese is still made from ewe’s milk and curdled with the juice of cardoon thistles. After travelling south to look at some of its close cousins, Will then travels to the ruggedly beautiful island of Sao Jorge in the Azores to learn about the benchmark cheeses of “little Switzerland”.
S04E05 Italian Mozzarella
Will journeys to Italys picturesque Campania region to look at stretched curd cheeses and finds it hard to resist the lingering flavour and sensual texture of buffalo cheese made from raw milk. After learning about Italy’s oldest ewe’s milk cheese, which is matured in a terracotta jar, Will gets a lesson from a Countess in how to make the perfect wood-fired pizza. He then heads to the coast to look at Cacio Cavallo, a traditional stretched curd cheese made with cow’s milk, before visiting the underground maturation rooms of Casa Madaio where the finest examples are aged.
S04E06 Wisconsin USA
This upper Midwest state is famous for its ‘cheese heads’ and proudly declares itself America’s Dairyland because it produces more cheese than any other state in the USA.But since the 1950s, most of the original traditional cheese types have been replaced by bland and predictable mass-produced Swiss and Cheddar. Will visits several of the exciting new farmstead cheese producers, including Uplands Cheese Company, before meeting Willi Lehner at Bleu Mont Dairy to see how he ripens cheese in an underground cave. Finally, Will heads for the hills to look at Hidden Springs Creamery,where a new organic ewe’s milk cheese is being made with the help of local Amish farmers.
Squeaky, salty haloumi is one of the worlds best-loved grilled cheeses. However most of it is now mass produced using cows milk. Will travels to the island of Cyprus to see how traditional Haloumi is still made from a mixture of goat and ewe’s milk. After discovering a fresh, mild whey cheese called Anari, he then visits one of the last farm producers still making Haloumi the old fashioned way from raw milk. Finally, Will checks out some unusual ways to cook this delicious cheese in his home town of Melbourne.
S04E08 Artisan Cheeses USA
Wills cheese tour takes him across the United States to look at artisanal cheese in regions not normally associated with specialist cheese. Will learns first hand about the challenges of making farmstead washed-rind cheese in Virginia before meeting up with his old friend Ari at Zingermans Creamery in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Then it’s a drive to Indiana to meet American goats cheese pioneer Judy Schad of Capriole dairy where he is encouraged to find a new way to enjoy Bourbon. After a brief stop at Saxelby Cheesemongers stall at New York Citys public market on the Lower East Side, Will travels to Oregon to discover the fascinating story behind Rogue River Blue, one of the oldest raw milk blue cheeses in the US.
S04E09 French Brie
If the name “Brie” conjures up images of a mild creamy flat cheese covered with a pure white mould, chances are you have never experienced authentic Brie from Brie. Will visits the Ile de France region to learn more about the benchmarks of the style, Brie de Meaux and Brie de Melun, before visiting Bries close cousin, Chaource, in the Champagne region. He then travels to the underground caves of Herve Mons to find out how this respected affineur selects and matures cheese to its optimum before calling in to see Pascal Beillevaire to get a few tips from the largest specialist cheese retailer in France.
Do the Japanese like cheese? In this episode of Cheese Slices, Will travels to Japan with leading Australian chef Tetsuya Wakuda to find the answer to that burning question. Starting with a visit to Tokyo’s leading cheese shop, Fermier, he looks at the extraordinary range available at the a well known Tokyo department store before heading off to Shimizu Farm at Nagano to see how a traditional mountain cheese is made. Next stop is Yoshida Farm, where Will and Tetsuya (Tets) try their hand at cheese-making before throwing a party where Tets and friends demonstrate new ways to cook with cheese, Japanese style. Finally, Will visits an award-winning farmhouse dairy on the island of Hokkaido where washed rind cheese is carefully matured in purpose built underground cellars