Thanks for the cheese

Jon Healey almost quit the family farm after enduring a life of hard, grinding poverty. A six-week stint learning to make cheese in Switzerland changed his life -- and the rest is history.

Pyengana is a village in north-eastern Tasmania, population 123, and part of the splendidly named Break O’Day council area. It is also the brand of Australia’s finest cloth-bound cheddar cheese. Well, 10 years ago it won the best cheddar prize at the National Fine Foods awards, but I reckon it’s still the best. I bring home a decent wedge of it most weeks and have done for all of those past 10 years.

But I’ve only just found out that these golden slices of Tassie are produced by Jon and Lyndall Healey, residents of Pyengana and owners of the brand, as well as 210 cows, a high-tech robotic dairy and a 40 tonne-a-year cheese factory.

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