The Big Cheese Making Kit launched in September last year and seems to have caught the imagination of foodies across the nation.
Did you know you can make your own cheese at home in around an hour? No, neither did we but it seems lots of people are sold on the idea of making their own cheese in their own kitchen with no fuss, no fancy equipment and at very little cost.
Founder of The Big Cheese Making Kit, Ailsa Proverbs, explains;
'The idea to make my own cheese was triggered by seeing a celebrity chef making yogurt. I won’t name names but he lives in a cottage by the river! I thought "if you can make yogurt maybe you can 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 five years under your stairs. And it could even be done in less than an hour.'
She came up with the idea that she would create her own kit. Her unique selling point would be that her kit would be a thing of beauty, something you might like to give as a gift.
'There were other complex cheese making kits available on the market but they were reminiscent of Home Brew Kits. Sort of sterile looking and not the type of thing you would be proud to give to someone or be delighted to receive. I also wanted to make the cheese making process as simple as possible so you didn’t have to do any background research or know anything about cheese making. Everything would be in the Kit and you could just pick it up and get on with it!'
'I also wanted to make sure it wasn’t just a crazy idea and that other people ‘got it’ so I carried out several focus groups where people made the cheese, gave feedback on the recipes and the concept in general. 100% of participants said they would buy it, so that was reassuring! None of them had made cheese before and they were all really surprised at how quick and easy it was. There were a few mishaps along the way but that was great feedback too as it meant we could change the instructions to make sure everything was crystal clear.
There were other great pieces of info too. For example one person said the instructions were good but she has spilt her milk on them and couldn’t read them, so now we laminate them.'
Something which has been surprising to the team at The Big Cheese Making Kit is WHO is buying the Kits. 'I thought cheese making would be a largely female interest but I was wrong! Especially at Christmas the Kits were mostly given as gifts for men. We’ve been out and about selling at different fairs and markets and it was such a surprise to me the number of men buying the Kits, or sending their wives back to buy one for their Christmas present!'
The Big Cheese Making Kits have been so successful they are now for sale in Harrods, Selfridge’s and are being exported around Europe! The range of Kits currently available is: Mozzarella & Ricotta, Goat’s Cheese and a Kit for Kids.
'Making cheese with Kids is a great way to introduce them to some basic scientific principles whilst also teaching them a bit about the origins of food. Kids love it as they get to eat the results of their ‘science experiment’, but better than that they get stickers!'
So, if cheese making is so easy that a child can do it, what’s stopping you?