I Had to make Cheese to Survive

When all available cheese is imported, what’s a man to do?

Jordan Fraser


It was the day before Christmas and the to-do list was a’flutter.
I had run around the city and collect everything I’d need to decorate the apartment and disguise the peeling paint.

I’d bought everything off the grocery list except two things I’d not managed to find. Deli meats and cheeses.

Never fear

I told myself, Eleme is here. My favourite food delivery app offered everything I’d ever needed. (I live in Shanghai, that’s why I casually dropped the name of an app you may not of ever heard of).

I figured we’d be fine with Eleme’s bounties and casually made an order for a half dozen varieties of cheeses and meats. I figured I’d make a charming platter and arrange it with some bread and olives.

I could never have prepared myself for the shock and horror that was coming my way.

The cheese that was delivered was hard and dark yellow. It had clearly been cut weeks ago and had been left to dry out in a cold, barren fridge somewhere.

Mortified, I started visiting deli after deli, looking for cheese that was locally made and fresh. Alas, I found nothing.

The Solution

I’d made cheese years ago and had found the exercise relaxing at the time. I knew what I had to do.

Previously I’d been back to Australia to teach, and while there had picked up some cheese making supplies. Cultures (bacteria that turns milk into cheese) a cheese press and some other knick knacks.
So I figured

what the hell

and got to work.

The internet is full of guides, so by simply reading half a dozen of them and taking the parts that I liked and adding my own changes (throw in