THERE is an increasing appetite for cheese in Malaysia.
There are now more foods containing cheese and a greater variety of cheese available in the Malaysian market.
The California Milk Advisory Board (CMAB) held an event to educate Malaysians about its cheese products that bear the “Real California Milk” seal.
There is a wide range of dairy products under the CMAB portfolio which is not only limited to cheese but includes milk, butter, yoghurt and ice cream.
Malaysians can enjoy California-origin cheese like cheddar, mozzarella, Pepper Jack and Monterey Jack.
For those who prefer artisanal cheeses, blue cheese, smoked cheese and organic cheese from California, are also available.
Malaysia country representative for CMAB Eddie Saw said more Malaysians were starting to appreciate the quality of California dairy products like cheese and ice cream.
“Our cheese uses 100% real milk from cows in California and have won awards in the United States as well as abroad,” he said in a statement.
A cook-off session featuring 20 lifestyle and food writers as well as personalities was held to enable them to experience California dairy products and cheeses.
Participants created their own cheese platters, combining an assortment of cheeses with other food items. Their creations were judged according to presentation and creativity.
Executive chef Barbara Alexander, who has over 30 years’ experience in the culinary and hospitality field, also created scrumptious dishes using the Californian cheese – Blue Cheese Chips, Korean Cheese Dogs, Iced Coffee Cheesecake Cream Puffs as well as Buffalo Chicken and Blue Cheese Pizza.
Alexander said the recipes were easy to make and the dishes could be served at family gatherings or prepared for quick meals.
“One ounce (28g) of natural cheese, such as Cheddar, Jack or Mozzarella, contains approximately 20% of a person’s recommended daily calcium intake.
“Those who are lactose- sensitive or lactose- intolerant can still enjoy cheese if they eat natural hard (aged) or soft-ripened varieties, which contain little or no lactose,” she added.
The US is the largest cow’s milk producer in the world and California is the top milk producing and second largest cheese-producing state.
Approximately 50 cheese makers are producing more than 250 cheese varieties using California milk.
California is home to many technologically advanced and efficient dairy operations and leads the US in sustainable dairy farming practices, said the company’s media statement.