Have you ever fancied creating your very own cheese? Now is your chance! Next week on Thursday 27thOctober we’re introducing Aly Proverbs is launching The Big Cheese Making Kit on Hochanda! Keep reading to find out a bit more before the shows…
The Big Cheese Making Kit came about through Ailsa’s, the Managing Director, love of cheese and the curiosity to find out if she could make herself. This curiosity was triggered by a Celebrity Chef making yoghurt (I won’t name names but he lives in a cottage by the river!) She thought it looked really easy, and thought if you can make yoghurt maybe you could make cheese too?
“I started digging about online and found that yes, you could make cheese at home without any fancy equipment or having to age the stuff for 5 years under your stairs. In fact, you can make it really quickly and be eating it within an hour! I became hooked on making cheese and wanted other people to feel the same. I was always pleased by people’s reactions when they came for lunch and I had made cheese. They couldn’t believe I’d made it myself and said they wanted to try it too.”
And so, after lots of trial and error, lots of focus groups, 100s of pints of milk and countless recipe edits later… The Big Cheese Making Kit was born!
In those early months, orders were being processed and her cheese-making kits assembled and dispatched from Ailsa’s spare bedroom – with the help of local mums from the village. Things are quite different now. The kits are no longer made from home for one thing. Ailsa’s sister Alison joined the company and together the two sisters have developed a complete range of kits and stock over 400 retailers.
But is it difficult to make cheese? Ailsa says “People are always surprised you can make cheese at home so easily. They tend to assume it’s a technical job and requires lots of fancy equipment. With our recipes, tested in my kitchen, cheese making is easy and lots of fun. And of course, the best part is the eating!”
As well as step-by-step instructions, each kit contains everything a novice maker needs – including a thermometer, citric acid, vegetarian rennet and a muslin square for sieving. The Ultimate Kit even comes with a recipe book which Alison and Ailsa created together.
The kits are made in the UK, vegetarian, gluten free, sourced organically where possible and are designed to have the lowest possible impact on the environment, with no unnecessary packaging or products. There are even suggestions on what to do with your whey – the by-product of cheese making – so nothing need go to waste.
For services to the food industry founder Ailsa recently received an MBE. Commenting on her award, Ailsa said “I am amazed to have received such a great honour. The purpose of the company is to demystify the cheese making process so that anyone can make fresh cheese easily at home and it caught on almost immediately among foodies and as a quality gift.” Indeed, with over 100,000 kits sold in the first 3 years it could be described as a quiet revolution in cheese making.
We’re thrilled to be bringing The Big Cheese Making Kit to your screens, it’s definitely a hobby that we have been WOW’d by here at Hochanda HQ. We were lucky enough to let a couple of the team here try out the kits watch this space to see how they got on…
Don’t miss the launch of The Big Cheese Making Kit shows with Aly on Thursday 27th at 8am and 11am!
You can watch Hochanda live online, Sky channel 663, Freeview 85 or Freesat 817.