A Love Affair With Cheese — Chatting with Giorgio Linguanti from That’s Amore Cheese
We chat with Giorgio Linguanti from That’s Amore Cheese about artisanal cheeses, how to pick the best cheese and how passion powered his business.
How did your love affair with cheese begin?
It all started in 2004 when I moved to Australia and began working in a fruit shop first and a cheese factory one year later. My background was in advertising, but I did not speak enough English at the time to pursue the same career when I arrived in Melbourne. So, I did labourer jobs and one of them was making cheese, not knowing that it would soon become my passion. During my time working at the cheese factory, I would ask questions like: “Why is the milk different from yesterday?”, but I never received any answers or explanations. I was curious to learn more so I asked my brother in Italy to send a book about cheese-making. And it kicked off from there. In 2008 I started making my first product, the bocconcini leaf, sheets of mozzarella that can be rolled with other ingredients. I would start my day at 3 am and come back home at 8 pm. I was producing the cheese in the morning, washing everything, putting the stock in the van and then I would head out for delivery. A few weeks later I hired one person, then another one, and another. Now we are a team of nearly 100 people.
What was the initial idea behind ‘That’s Amore Cheese”?
When I arrived in Australia, I realised there was a huge gap in the market for authentic Italian cheese. All products were vacuum sealed, and nothing was fresh. I took this opportunity and with hard work, determination, and sacrifice, I started building That’s Amore Cheese.
What has been the hardest part of your journey?
It has been a challenging journey but with plenty of positives. The hardest part was to educate the public about completely new products, such as burrata (we were the first in Australia to make it), smoked scamorza, diavoletti, bocconcini leaf, and more.
How is ‘That’s Amore Cheese’ different from other cheeseries?
Our cheeses are artisanal, handmade, and naturally free from preservatives and artificial colours. We use only the best quality farm-fresh milk that is locally sourced in Victoria. We use Italian recipes and traditional cheesemaking techniques to achieve a truly authentic final product while using local Australian ingredients. We love to combine the best of two worlds!
What are your three tips for someone looking to buy cheese?
It can be a little overwhelming to find the right cheese facing a big selection. First, I recommend starting by looking for a good balance of flavours. Different flavours developing as you try a cheese is a sign of quality. I believe that you will know that it is a good cheese when the first flavour is not the last flavour that you get. Second, be specific when picking a cheese. For example, if you are looking for a cheese to cook with, choose a cheese that is great for melting. Finally, do not be afraid to venture outside of your comfort zone. Challenge yourself to pick up something a little more adventurous. Washed rind cheeses are often the last style of cheese that people venture into because they tend to be stinky. Don’t let this turn you off, as the aroma is not always an accurate representation of the flavour. Once you get in there and try for yourself, you may discover something you love.
Why did you decide to branch into vegetarian cheeses?
With the vegetarian lifestyle becoming increasingly more popular, we decided to branch into making cheese that is friendly for vegetarians, using non-animal rennet. We want everyone to be able to eat our delicious cheese. The more people who can enjoy our product, the better!
What is your favourite way to eat cheese?
In my opinion, the best way to experience the real taste of cheese is to have it in the simplest way possible. If you are trying a high-quality fresh product, you do not need to mix it with anything else. Of course, there are millions of great recipes that feature cheese, but I suggest that you try a type of cheese on its own before pairing it with anything else.
Where is ‘That’s Amore Cheese’ heading for 2021 and beyond?
We have been working in the last few years toward including more sustainable practices and exploring environmentally friendly packaging solutions. We have also been focusing on developing new cheeses to expand the organic range that we launched in November 2020.