For a country that is said to be one of the world’s largest dairy producers, Indians’ taste for cheese, especially the artisanal variety, has been been guarded. But that’s slowly changing. With the rise in demand for gourmet products, from chocolates and ice cream, to honey and tea , the demand for artisanal cheeses is also on the upswing. This is, in large part, thanks to a growing clutch of like-minded individuals who are introducing epicures to the joys of cheese and exposing them to new flavour profiles.
There are now Indian brands producing local versions of European cheeses, along with some uniquely Indian ones that pair well with regional foods. Think, Indian mozzarella, gouda, parmesan, kalari, chenna, chhurpi and more. From cheese made in the highlands of Kashmir to monks churning out fresh buffalo milk cheese in South India, the country’s artisanal cheese revolution has truly taken off. And from the looks of it, it is here to stay.
We give you a round-up of the some of the popular artisanal cheese brands around the country that deliver right to your doorstep.
The Spotted Cow Fromagerie
This Mumbai-based creamery makes homemade, artisanal cheeses in small batches with a focus on freshness and flavour. There’s a range of Italian, French and local cheeses to choose from, including an Indian version of camembert and brie, aptly called ‘Camembay’ and ‘Bombrie’, paying homage to the city.
The Mehra brothers, Agnay and Prateeksh, who run the show, are constantly experimenting with different flavour profiles, so keep a lookout for their limited edition cheeses, such as the black truffle brie. For a little something sweet, they offer dessert cheeses like the caramelised hazelnut log. The ingredients are sourced fresh from local farmers in Maharashtra.
Delivery happens all over Mumbai, though for the rest of the country, a visit to these stores would be needed.
Started in 2014, Eleftheria is a small creamery based in Mumbai that offers several European-inspired classic cheeses. Their fresh burrata makes for a great addition to home-cooked Italian meals, while the hand-stretched mozzarella is another popular pick with consumers. Try their variety of fromage blanc, which works well as spreads on sandwiches, or, on tartines. The dairy is sourced fresh from a small, local farm on the outskirts of Mumbai.
They deliver in Mumbai only.
This Delhi-based artisanal cheese delivery service offers an assortment of cheeses made locally, such as the Matahari, which is a Spanish-style cheese studded with red pepper, the Pincher which is similar to Colby cheese, and an Italian Romano and Parmesan. Delhiites can also order their DIY cheese kits, so one can experiment with making one’s own cheese at home. Cream cheese and mascaporne are available specially on order.
The Cheese Collective
Mumbai-based Mansi Jasani is no stranger to cheese. Her homemade variety of goat cheese (also known as chèvre) is a hit with customers, with options ranging from mixed herbs to honey, fruit chevre, and cheese balls with varied fillings. You can even order customised cheese platters for those intimate dinner parties, or, to simply impress your guests. She also stocks a variety of cheese made in India. If you are in her city, make sure you order black truffle cheddar and a black pepper chevre log.
10 Cuts of Cheese
This Bengaluru-based brand which has a store in Koramangala is a great option for when you want your choice of gourmet cheese delivered home. Take your pick from the list of artisanal Indian cheeses stocked here, such as the gouda, the Himalayan kalari cheese, camembert and mozzarella, Caroselle cheese from Kodaikanal, as well as a selection of imported cheeses. Cheesemonger Christopher Albuquerque, will suggest just how to pair your cheese with various fruits, preserves, honey, crackers and more. You can also make a visit to their store to see everything on offer.
High up in the picturesque locales of Kashmir, you’ll find this little enterprise run by Dutchman Chris Zandee, producing quality artisanal Indian cheese, using fresh Himalayan milk. Their gouda is available in a variety of flavours, and the cheddar is a popular pick. But the real deal is the kalari, a local Kashmiri cheese, often referred to as the ‘Mozzarella of Kashmir’. It is typically had by frying it in oil and seasoning with salt and chilli powder. They deliver to several pin codes across the country, including Delhi NCR, Mumbai, Bengaluru and Pune.