Will Studd has been working with specialist cheese for over four decades. He has travelled the world many times over in his quest to seek out the most delicious and fascinating cheeses, made by the most talented and expert cheesemakers. After establishing delicatessens in central London in the 1970s, Will migrated to Australia, where he has done much to promote a greater understanding of what good cheese is all about, as well as championing the cause for cheese made from raw milk. Since 2002, Will has been the executive producer and presenter of Cheese Slices, a unique hit television series about artisanal and traditional handmade cheeses from around the globe. Cheese Slices has visited hundreds of dairies in more than two dozen countries. This award-winning show is now in its eighth season. Will published his first book, Chalk and Cheese, in 1999 with his follow up title, Cheese Slices, published in 2007. Will is a regular contributor to numerous food publications, including Australian Gourmet Traveller and Australian Gourmet Wine, and he appears at specialty food events around the world. His knowledge of specialist cheeses, and the people who make them, is unsurpassed. With ‘Will Studd Selected’ on the lable you know it will be delicious!
Authentic handmade Greek barrel-ripened feta is rare, and it tastes very different to modern feta matured in brine in airtight tins. This cheese has been carefully ripened in small, old beech wood barrels using traditional techniques that date back to the time when nomadic shepherds roamed the hills of northern Greece.
The barrels enable small amounts of oxygen to reach the salted curds as they ferment under whey, and the natural flora in the wooden staves helps to encourage a unique yeasty aroma. After three months maturation in the barrel, the feta develops a soft milky texture and a seriously creamy peppery finish that is very different to modern brined feta matured in sealed tins or plastic.
Barrel-ripened feta is now produced by just a handful of small dairies in Greece because of EU regulations and the skill and expense involved in production. Each barrel has to be filled with curd by hand and after the cheese has been removed, it must be broken down stave by stave, washed and rebuilt by a skilled cooper.