Maia Cheese.

Locally-available cheese in Sri Lanka has long been restricted to Kotmale and its imported jovial bovine counterpart, Happy Cow. Over the last year or so, however, there's been a new player in the high stakes cheese world. Meet Maia Cheese, a company that started up in Goa and has now shimmied down to Colombo's Central Province. 

The two owner-partners decided to open up a manufacturing outlet in Sri Lanka, which is currently based in Madipola, Matale, where they provide steady incomes to local farmers and workers. Their aim is to dish out European-style artisanal cheese at reasonable prices – which they're doing admirably.

About The Cheese

The most exciting feature of the cheese is how cheap it is! You're paying between Rs. 200-400 for around 100 g. They're packaged in blocks/balls of roughly 100 grams each (it varies slightly), and vacuum-packed into little plastic bags. I don't love the packaging, as it's not really good for gifting or the environment, but it's practical and cheap and I can't think of a feasible alternative for them to use especially with delivery and storage issues. They've got a full selection of a dozen or so cheeses, from fresh and smoked mozzarella to feta, brie (although they mysteriously spell it bree), and blue cheese. Check out their online brochure for a complete list.

The website wasn't clear about whether they use animal-origin rennet or vegetable rennet so I contacted them directly and learned that they use vegetable rennet rather than cultures, and they also don't use any colour additives or preservatives. This makes it vegetarian-friendly and also a lot more fresh and healthy!

What We Thought

I picked up some Blue Cheese at Rs. 216 for 90 grams, Smoked Mozzarella at Rs. 326 for 170 grams, and Maia Jano at Rs. 390 for 130 grams. Their website says they also have a halloumi (which I love grilling as a snack!) but I unfortunately haven't been able to get my hands on it yet.

The blue was a fairly soft, crumbly, lightly smelling block, with very minimal spots or veins. I made a vague attempt at a cheese plate with stuff I had lying around the house (no walnuts sadly), like raisins, pumpkin seeds, and a cinnamon-apple preserve. The cheese didn't have that overwhelmingly sharp smell or taste that a traditional blue does, it was a lot gentler and less veined. Still, it made for a good appetizer and went well with the preserve. At Rs. 200 odd, I wouldn't think twice before buying this again!

The smoked mozzarella was very hard, much harder than any I've tried before. It did have that salty tang and chewiness you'd expect from a fresh mozzarella ball, but also had this incredibly rich, strong smoke aroma that reminded me distinctly of cured ham. I didn't appreciate the cheese as much at room temperature on its own, but I'd imagine it's superb in a caprese salad or melted lightly with meats or pizza.

The Maia Jano is in the style of a Parmigiano-Reggiano, and matured for a couple of months. I've actually tried cooking with this one before, shaved over a plate of steaming hot aglio e olio. I also tried it last night to make my carbonara sauce, and it melted beautifully into the dish without much resistance, helping to create that creamy texture and flavour that can't quite be duplicated with fresh cream. This is a perfect ingredient for your Italian-at-home date nights, although the flavour is marginally less piquant than a DOP parmesan.

How To Get Some

You can either pick up a variety from the Good Market Shop on Reid Avenue (which is what I did), or order online for delivery. According to the site, you'll generally get your order within 1-2 days, which is great. 

The site is also very easy to manoeuvre, with a simple check out system that allows you to choose multiple units and varieties of cheese, and to opt for either cash on delivery or card via PayPal.

Overall

Cheese, locally sourced, with ethical labour practices, vegetable rennet, and cheap prices? That's the dream. I wouldn't compare these cheeses to the family-produced blobs of heaven I've tried in tiny villages in Europe, but it's a far cry better than mass-produced commercial cheese slices or paying over Rs.1000 a pop for imported varieties. At this price point, Maia Cheese has our allegiance! 

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on whatsapp

Highlights.

Latest.

KAMU.

7 Restaurants to dine in July 2022

By Shamrina Carim July hits a beautiful urge to try out different foods, events and

Highlights Kamu Yamu Guide

Hot Chook – all about that Chicken

By Hiruni Herath Service and Ambience The head chef at Hot Chook was very helpful

Highlights Kamu

A glistening night out at Colombo’s finest local bar!

By Shamrina Carim A Sri Lankan experiencing the magical inspiration of Sri Lanka in the

Kamu

Ceylon Curry Club – Sri Lankan Cuisine With a Twist

By Janani Vithanage Ceylon Curry Club, located in the Dutch Hospital Shopping Precinct, is a

Kamu

The Delightful Indian Cuisine at Navaratna by Taj Samudra

Navaratna is an Indian Restaurant located in Taj Samudra Colombo. Taj Samudra is a 5-star

Kamu

10 Places to Get Sushi in Colombo

By Janani Vithanage A Japanese dish most often presented as vinegared sticky rice, seafood or

Highlights Kamu Yamu Guide

Trending.

Elvis the Sensationalist – the Movie Review

By Hiruni Herath The Movie If you’ve watched the movie trailer for Baz Luharmann’s Elvis,

Trending

Savor The Salt Of The Sea At Hilton Colombo

Fresh from the seafood markets to your table Colombo, Sri Lanka – 20th June 2022 – Partake

Trending

10 Types of Sri Lankans in Petrol Queues

By Janani Vithanage These days, spending time in the petrol queue is almost every Sri

Highlights Trending

Celebrating life with Perera & Sons

by Shamrina Carim Perera & Sons holds a privileged history of catering to the most

Highlights Trending

Before You Watch… Jurassic World Dominion

By Shamrina Carim The movie On a critic of honest opinions, Jurassic World Dominion is

Trending

Treats fit for a King at Ramada Colombo this Father’s Day!

Enjoy Father's Day special Grill, Lunch, Dinner, Deliveries, and Stays… This June 19th, we all

Trending

Yamu Guide.

7 Restaurants to dine in July 2022

By Shamrina Carim July hits a beautiful urge to try out different foods, events and

Highlights Kamu Yamu Guide

10 Places to Get Sushi in Colombo

By Janani Vithanage A Japanese dish most often presented as vinegared sticky rice, seafood or

Highlights Kamu Yamu Guide

The ideal skin care routine with Bio Oil

By Shanali Fernando Feeling overwhelmed, confused, and/or frustrated by the multitude of competing messages about

Highlights Yamu Guide

5 common causes of Dry Skin

The general cause of itchy, dry skin might seem like a no-brainer: It's a lack

Highlights Yamu Guide

7 Places to Watch the SL Vs. AUS ODI Matches

By Janani Vithanage Sri Lankan cricket may ot have been on its best footing over

Highlights Yamu Guide

5 Cooking Tips from Knorr

By Janani Vithanage Being a mother in today’s world is no easy task. From waking

Highlights Yamu Guide