Annisa Iwan, chief cheesemaker and founder of Milky Whey Cheese, shares with The Yum List her cheesemaking journey along with some of the challenges and successes she has had in the industry.
What do you do and how did you get into the industry?
I am a cheesemaker. I started my cheesemaking journey seven years ago simply because I love eating cheese and I could not always get the kind of cheese in KL that I liked to eat and I found when I was travelling.
Share with us an interesting story from behind the scenes.
One of our cheeses that I developed the recipe for myself, Melaka, happened by accident (in the beginning).
I was supposed to add a certain culture and it so happened that I was out of that particular culture so I added a different one and did some adjustments (and hoped for the best) in the making. It turned out that many people like the taste of this cheese and since then I have been tweaking the recipe to get a consistent product that our customers enjoy.
What’s the best/ worst part of your job?
The best part of my job is the possibility to create unique tasting cheeses. I enjoy making experimental batches from time to time.
Every job has its ups and downs, for me, it’s when the milk comes late, and pushes the whole production timing back. A few times we’ve had to stay up until late at night to finish making cheese in time for orders.
What’s your favourite Milky Whey Cheese?
I only make cheese that I like to eat but if I have to choose a favourite out of the ones we make, it is probably Tembaga – a washed-rind semi-soft cheese that I adapted from French Reblochon – and, our newest blue cheese, Jade – a Stiltonesque blue cheese.
A day in the life of a cheesemaker is…
My cheesemaking day starts early. It begins with cleaning, washing, scrubbing and sanitising the whole of our area, cheese vat, utensils and cheese moulds. Then the making process starts when our milk comes. We filter and fill our vat, add culture and coagulants with some waiting period in between.
We then cut the curd, cook, stir, fill the moulds and press. Then again, we have to clean, wash, scrub and sanitise everything. Cheesemaking is really 30% the actual making of the cheese and 70% of washing and cleaning!
What do you do for fun?
Spending time with my family, travelling and trying new places to eat.
What’s something you’d like consumers to know about Milky Whey Cheese?
All our cow’s milk cheese is made with Jersey cow’s milk that we source locally and I use halal certified ingredients including rennet.
What’s your favourite food and beverage pairing?
Raclette with pickles and chilled kombucha.
What’s in store for you in the upcoming months?
We will have our Cheesemaking Classes and a new Cheese Tasting/Pairing Class, which I am excited about.
Find a whole range of Annisa Iwan’s Milky Whey cheeses at this incredible brunch in KL.
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