Saturday, November 9, 2013

Cheese chronicles

Anyone who has read this blog for any length of time will have come across me lamenting the cheese landscape in Australia. In fact, the very first blog post I wrote about food, some five years ago, was on this topic. The situation can be summed up as follows: imported cheese is pretty difficult to find, and when you do find it, it's eye-wateringly expensive.

Things haven't changed much, as I was reminded today. My local grocery store has undergone an extensive remodel, and now a has a much larger and swankier deli section, including an expanded selection of imported cheeses. I took a few minutes to browse through it and see what's available, and felt a momentary thrill when I saw comté cheese on the bottom shelf. I don't remember ever having seen comté cheese anywhere in Australia before, and I've been craving it ever since I had lunch in Paris last March. For a brief, shining moment, culinary visions danced in my head.

Then I remembered to look at the price tag. In case you can't read the fine print in the crummy phone-camera photo above, that's AUD$67 per kilo - that's about EUR$47 or GBP$39 per kilo, or USD$32 per pound, for those of you following along overseas. Or, in simpler terms, a short walk back to mass-produced Australian cheddar.


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