Established in 1993
The Smoking Gourmet Artisan Cheese Company was established in 1993 and is currently owned and operated by Allan Williams & Hans-Burckhard Ainhirn.
The cheese factory specialises in producing high quality, hand-made, artisanal cheese, smoked chicken and full cream milk.
The Smoking Gourmet supplies 28+ high end restaurants (some of them award winning) with high quality artisanal cheese.
Artisanal cheese refers to cheeses produced by hand using the traditional craftsmanship of skilled cheesemakers. As a result, the cheeses are often more complex in taste and variety. Many are aged and ripened to achieve certain aesthetics.
This contrasts with the more mild flavours of mass-produced cheeses produced in large scale operations, often shipped and sold right away.
Part of the artisanal cheese making process is aging and ripening of the cheeses to develop flavour and textural characteristics. One type of artisanal cheese is known as farmstead cheese, made traditionally with milk from the producer's own herds of cows, sheep, and goats. Artisan cheeses may be made by mixing milk from multiple farms, whereas the stricter definition of farmstead cheese (or farmhouse cheese) requires that milk come only from one farm.
The artisanal cheese making process can be quite extensive and resembles modern chemistry in many aspects. Many different factors affect the overall product of a finished artisanal cheese product; this includes, but is not limited to what species of grass consumed by the cattle that provided the milk source, any sudden changes of heat, and any loss of cultivated yeast, or changes in barometric pressure. These factors to an extent are different from large commercial manufacturing cheesemakers, and affect artisanal cheese more heavily.