Newsletter # 2 March 2017

It has been just five months since we launched ARTISA plant based cheese, initially at the Evandale Market then soon after at the Hobart Twilight Market. It's been quite a whirlwind since and though I never intended to bombard subscribers with mail, I didn't anticipate neglecting you for so long either!
As hectic as it has been, I couldn't be happier – being a vegan cheesemaker is my best job ever! My favourite thing so far has been the opportunity to meet with and talk to people about our products at the markets. Many are genuinely curious about what we mean by "plant based cheese". Once we explain that they are dairy free cheeses made with cashew nuts, almost all are keen to try – it can be quite a revelation to them! We have had amazing feedback from fellow vegans, lactose intolerant people and interested epicureans. It has also been so reassuring to hear from those who have tried vegan cheese before but who tell us that ARTISA cheese tastes so much better. What that means is that we are building a solid base of repeat customers.

Thanks to everyone who has either supported us in person at the markets or via social media. It is wonderful for example to meet people at the market who specifically came looking for us because a friend or relative suggested they visit our stand.

We are looking forward to building on this very promising start and will soon be making ARTISA plant based cheese available to customers further afield.

Recipe

Mushroom stroganoff (serves 4)

Ingredients
800g mixed mushrooms – oyster, button, Portobello, sliced
2 onions, sliced
2 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 c water
2 Massell beef flavoured stock cubes
2 tbsp vegan Worcestershire sauce (we like Johnno's, made in Tasmania)
1 tbsp tomato paste
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
100g Artisa St Clair plant based cheese
2-3 stalks of flat leaf parsley, leaves picked off
Fettucine noodles, cooked according to packet instructions
Lemon wedges to serve

Method
Heat olive oil in a large pan, sauté onions until translucent
Add mushrooms and sauté until softened. Add crushed garlic and cook for a further minute.
Add remaining sauce ingredients, except parsley.
Stir until combined and heated through.
Added picked parsley leaves and cooked noodles to pan with sauce. Stir to mix, add extra water if required.
Garnish with lemon wedges to serve.

Both Artisa's fresh and aged non dairy cheeses make for great stroganoff and other pasta dishes.

Product Range

We have a great idea now of the cheeses you love most and we will always keep these in stock (hello Gladstone smoked cheese and kunanyi - dusted with pepperberry).

However, Julie is always on the lookout for amazing Tasmanian produce that can be incorporated in our cheese selection. Yes, she even dreams about it! Her creation of our limited edition, seasonal specials such as the Esk elderflower cheese and Coal River, dusted with fennel pollen, will continue – it is one of the things we feel that makes us unique. We have one or two exciting new offerings in development, so stay tuned!

FAQ's

Do your cheeses melt?

We tell our customers that ARTISA cheeses are not the melty, stretchy type of cheese you might be used to putting on pizza. That's because, unlike many other non-dairy cheese producers, we don't use any starches or thickeners or gums when making our cheese. You can definitely still use ARTISA cheese to make a great pizza at home though, – just grate some over the tomato sauce layer and put your toppings on top. I find the Evandale aged cheese works best. Try them in a cheese toastie too, or even in your humble mac'n'cheese – you won't be disappointed.
Our cheeses are also great for dishes such as a mushroom stroganoff or a creamy alfredo pasta sauce. The St Clair soft cheeses is particularly good for this.

Do I need to keep Artisa cheese in the fridge?

Yes, refrigeration is certainly best. Unopened, they will easily keep until their 'best before' date and then some. In the unlikely event you actually have some left over after having opened them, wrap the remaining cheese loosely in a paper towel and place in a tupperware container or zip lock bag and refrigerate. You may be pleasantly surprised at how long they will last and indeed improve.

Save the Tarkine Fundraiser

Prior to Christmas we created our special Tarkine log – a fresh, creamy plant based cheese log, filled with dried Tasmanian cherries, tangy cranberries and rolled in toasted Tasmanian hazelnuts. We pledged to donate $1 from the sale of each log to the Save the Tarkine campaign and we are delighted to say that donation came in at $63. Thanks to everyone whose purchases supported this initiative.

Artisa's Christmas special 'Tarkine log' made from fresh cashew cheese mixed with Tasmanian fruit and nut produce.

What's next for ARTISA?

The Hobart Twilight Market summer season is drawing to a close and we know our regular Hobart customers will be eager to hear how they can continue to get their fix of ARTISA plant based cheeses! We hope to confirm arrangements with some retail outlets for Hobart and Launceston soon and will advise accordingly. In the meantime, we will continue to attend the Evandale Market on Sunday mornings.

In an even more exciting development, we are negotiating a lease property in Launceston for larger production facilities. This will enable us to increase production significantly and also have a small shop front. Watch this space for details!

Reminder

ARTISA plant based cheeses will be at EVANDALE Market every Sunday and at the Hobart Twilight Market until 24th March 2017
 

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