Here at Olympus Cheese, we are a fresh cheese company. What is fresh cheese you ask? Shouldn’t all cheese be fresh? Well, yes, but fresh cheese refers to a type of cheese which is not aged and is minimally processed. We examine the different types of fresh (or young) cheeses and explain the method of creating fresh cheese.
The process of fresh cheese
Fresh cheese is young cheese which contains little to no chemicals or preservatives to process. It is made by ripening milk with starter cultures, which converts the milk sugars into lactic acid. This encourages thickening of the milk. Then rennet is added to thicken the milk more (Olympus Cheese use non-animal rennet for this step). Following this process, curds form and separate from the whey, which is the liquid. The whey is then drained and the curd is turned into cheese. Unlike aged cheese, there is generally not much more processing required to turn it into your favourite cheese variety.
Which cheeses are classed as fresh?
Here are some of the more common fresh cheeses made today:
- Goat’s cheese
- Crème Fraiche
- Cottage cheese
- And everybody’s favourite – halloumi.
At Olympus, we produce fetta, ricotta, and halloumi for supply to many restaurants and cafes across Australia as well as for sale in speciality grocers, fruit shops and delis.
The flavour profile
Ready to eat within a few days or even hours of being made, fresh cheeses are so young that they barely have time to develop any more than a hint of the milk’s potential flavour. Fresh cheese is often described as having milky, sweet, lemony, refreshing, citrus or acidic flavours. Subtle but distinctive flavours can be drawn from fresh cheese through thoughtful cheesemaking to create a flavourful and delicious result. It’s important with fresh cheesemaking, (or any food business really), to have high levels of food safety. This process starts with nominating and training a food safety supervisor or several, who are on hand in the factory to ensure freshness isn’t just about the age of the cheese, but the highest safety and quality of the end product.
How to recognise fresh cheese
Here are some tips on how to spot and pick fresh cheese.
- Flavour. The flavour of fresh cheese is milky with a gentle acidity that is lemony fresh or slightly sharp like yoghurt or sour cream
- Fat content. Fresh cheese has the lowest fat content of all the cheese categories.
- Moisture. Fresh cheese has the highest moisture content of all the cheese categories, which means they have a very short shelf life. The high moisture content of fresh cheeses makes them feel soft on the palate.
- Colour. Fresh cheese is white in colour and usually shiny
- Rind. Fresh cheese has no rind, so there is little difference between the interior and exterior
- Age. Fresh cheese is only ever aged from one to seven days or up to 12 months pickled in brine or oil.
- Texture. Fresh cheese’s texture varies enormously – soft, crumbly, spreadable, mousse-like, creamy, stringy like Mozzarella, or firm and sliceable like halloumi.
- Short life. Most good fresh cheeses have a short shelf life, especially those very young cheeses such as ricotta which isn’t brined. A short use-by date, especially after opening is an indication that no preservatives have been added after the cheesemaking process to prolong the product’s life.
Olympus Cheese’s philosophy is as fresh as possible. We make our cheese with very few ingredients and without preservatives or additives at any stage of the process. We pack within 42 hours. This fresh flavour is what we are famous for and it makes for a distinctive difference you can taste with every bite.
Take a look at what we make in our Fresh Cheese Range.
Ideas and recipes with fresh cheese
While piping hot grilled Halloumi with lemon will always have our heart, we have become quietly obsessed with these super simple and delicious Halloumi & Corn bites. Great for the whole family with minimal prep and bake time. You could even try these in the air...
We've whipped up (see what we did there) a recipe for the best Fetta Whip Dip you'll taste. This dip is perfect parts salty, tangy and creamy and isn't for the weak using both our Fetta and Labneh cheeses. Fetta Whip Dip Food Processor or Blender 150g Fetta100g...
A beautiful fresh pasta salad mixed with Labneh, red onion, semi sundried tomatoes, chives, olives and topped with fetta. Labneh Pasta Salad topped with Fetta 2 tbsp Labneh3 cups cooked pasta20g Fetta 30g Diced Olives30g Semi Sundried Tomatoes3 tbsp chopped Chives1/2...
Ricotta Gnocchi with Fresh Tomatoes, Prosciutto & Basil A beautiful homemade Ricotta Gnocchi using Olympus Cheese fresh Ricotta, tomatoes, prosciutto & basil. 300g Fresh Ricotta1 Punnet of Tomatoes 60g Grated Parmesan CheeseGenerous pinch of Salt1 cup...
Halloumi is low carb, high protein and very versatile. We look at 5 halloumi cheese keto meal ideas for those on a low carb or keto diet.
Can you eat halloumi raw? Is it any good? Yes, halloumi is okay to eat uncooked. Here’s 3 ways to serve raw halloumi to bring out its best flavours.
A tasty upgrade to the classic zucchini fritters by adding Halloumi and a delicious Avocado Salsa.
This Olympus Grilled Halloumi and Vegetable salad takes the season’s tastiest vegetables and pairs them with salty halloumi for a taste sensation!
Our halloumi and avocado wrap pairs with chicken breast, and the gorgeous fresh flavours of tomato and coriander. You can also add our easy and tasty spicy yoghurt sauce if you like!