Up till a few years ago, names like bocconcini, brie, and fontina sounded alien to us, and the only cheese we were familiar with was the yellow, processed kind that either came in cube or slice form and had a decidedly one-note salty taste.
As a country, we’ve come a long way since that, going by the number of artisanal cheese brands that have cropped up in recent times. This does not come as a surprise, since India is one of the world’s largest dairy producers. While our exposure to cheese was earlier limited to paneer, local cheese like kalari (Kashmiri cheese) and bandel (from West Bengal), today, the country’s palate for newer flavours is growing. From an Indian version of camembert, truffle burratas, to unique cheddars, there’s much to pick from.
Ahead, discover six Indian brands that are delivering fresh, artisanal cheese right to your doorstep.
Spotted Cow Fromagerie, Mumbai
Started by brothers Agnay and Prateksh Mehra, this Mumbai-based creamery makes fresh artisanal cheese in small batches. Apart from the usual Italian and French cheese like bocconcini di bufala, burrata, and black truffle brie, they also have Indian-inspired cheese like Camembay (from camembert) and Bombrie (from brie). For those with a sweet tooth, the caramelised hazelnut-crusted cheese is a must-try. The brand delivers all over Mumbai and major metros, and ensured it's all done within two-three days of ordering.
Kumaoni Blessings, Delhi NCR
Delhi-based Kumaoni Blessings is an artisanal brand that delivers fresh cheese, spreads, preserves and more inspired by the produce of the Kumaon region. They ship their small-batch cheese all over and are a hit with the city’s residents. Try their natural rind cheese mixed with a variety of spices and herbs like black pepper and truffle, or the crusted cheese that is coated in smoked paprika, pepper, or sundried tomatoes, and is also available in a marinated variant.
The brand behind award-winning cheese like Brunost and Moony that won Silver and Gold at the World Cheese Awards at Wales last year, Eleftheria is known for using locally-sourced ingredients to craft European standard cheese. Founded by Mausam Jotwani, the brand delivers across major metros like Mumbai, Delhi, and Bengaluru. Apart from their caramel-like Brunost that has toffee notes, their fresh cheese like burrata, ricotta, and goat’s cheese are also worth trying. Apart from artisanal cheese, Eleftheria also has cheese platters, a wide range of snacks and condiments, and cheese tools like boards and mini cheese knives.
Käse is another award-winning creamery based in Chennai that uses locally-sourced milk from grass-fed cows for all their cheese. They have an extensive range of offerings available on their website that are conveniently divided into different categories like semi-hard and spreadable cheese. Their manchego, halloumi, and savoury cheese spreads are bestsellers, and they also offer monthly cheese subscriptions that will be a perfect present for the cheese fiend in your life.
Begum Victoria Cheese, Bengaluru
One of the more recent home-grown cheese brands, Begum Cheese Victoria has a wide variety of crowd-favourites like brie, cheddar, feta, and more. Their name is inspired by Queen Victoria, who is said to have received a large quantity of cheddar cheese as a wedding present from the village of Somersetshire. In addition to cheese, they also have cow’s ghee, crackers, smoked honey, condiments, and cheese platters on offer.
Kodai Cheese, Kodaikanal
This is one of the oldest brands on this list, and was started in 1972 as a small business in Kodaikanal. Cheese on their website is classified as hard, semi hard, or soft, and you can pick from classics like parmesan, mozzarella and edam, or try their experimental variants like mustard gouda and red chilly cheddar. They are one of the most widely available artisanal cheese brands, and are stocked in most major gourmet stores across the country.