A Cheese Lover's Guide to Tasmania
Publishedon 20/08/2015 - 08:47 am
Tasmania’s cheese industry is worth more than a staggering $350 million per year. The island state boasts the perfect conditions for making exquisite cheese - high rainfall, lush green valleys, the cleanest air and the freshest water in the world.
Most of all, Tasmania lays claim to the most passionate, hardworking and dedicated cheesemakers who have chosen the state to build their dream and produce magnificent cheese for us all to enjoy.
A trip to Tasmania is not complete without a tour of the wonderful cheeseries dotted across the island. Tasmania does not do anything half-heartedly; if they are going to give you some of the best wines in the country - they will also give you sensational cheeses to match.
So get your tastebuds and your cheeseboard ready. Tasmanian Food Guide introduces you to… "A Cheese Lover's Guide to Tasmania".
Grandvewe is a family run farm located in beautiful Birchs Bay, about a half hour drive from Hobart. Australia's only certified organic sheep milk cheesery, Grandvewe’s award winning cheeses are supplied to some top chefs and restaurants around Australia including Peter Gilmore at Sydney’s Quay restaurant.
Their most popular cheese is White Pearl - delicious when spread on bread or sprinkled on pasta, and a blue cheese called Sapphire Blue.
Grandvewe welcomes visitors 7 days a week at their cellar door, where you can purchase cheeses and enjoy a tasting of up to 15 cheeses. The cafe is the perfect place to enjoy a platter with a glass of wine, overlooking the beautiful D’Entrecasteaux Channel.
For more information please visit http://grandvewe.com.au.
Ashgrove Cheese is a very well-known stop on the Tasmanian Food Tourist trail, attracting a large number of tourists daily. Located in Elizabeth Town, just 25 minutes from Devonport, you can spot the farm quite easily due to the brightly painted cows in beautiful colours that adorn the entrance.
Ashgrove produce mainly hard cheeses such as cheddar, and English County cheeses. In addition they supply a unique range of cheeses that are infused with Tasmanian flavours such as Wild Wasabi, Lavender, and Bush Pepper.
Cheese is not the only product under the Ashgrove label - their award winning milk, butter, cream and ice-cream is readily available in stores around Australia. The property is open 7 days per week, and features a cafe and tasting room.
For more information please visit http://www.ashgrovecheese.com.au.
Bruny Island Cheese Company
Bruny Island Cheese Company is the creation of esteemed artisan cheesemaker Nick Haddow. With extensive experience including working with many cheese makers across Europe learning the traditional techniques, Nick put his knowledge and talent to good use and began Bruny Island Cheese Company in 2003.
The only legally recognised producer of raw milk cheese in Australia, both cow’s and goat’s milk is used to make the cheeses. The company produces 8 varieties of unique artisan cheeses which are a reflection of Nick’s travels throughout Europe. Try the “O.D.O" (one day old) - a fresh cheese marinated in olive oil, garlic and herbs or “1792” a soft, pungent washed rind cheese matured on Huon Pine boards.
The cellar door is open 7 days a week.
For more information please visit http://brunyislandcheese.com.au.
Pyengana Dairy Company
It is no wonder the Pyengana brand is proudly featured on restaurant menus across Tasmania. You
only need to take a look at their website to see the impressive list of awards they have earned.
Although Pyengana Dairy Company was started in 1992, the Healey family has been making cheddar cheese on their East Coast farm for over 100 years and across three generations. Four varieties of cheddar are produced - each aged at different stages, and some flavoured cheddars that are infused with delicious seasonings such as herb, chilli, garlic, and chives & onion.
Their farm cafe, Holy Cow Cafe is open 7 days a week for breakfast and lunch, perhaps a cheese platter or one of their creamy fresh milkshakes.
For more information please visit http://pyenganadairy.com.au.
Red Cow Dairies
Named after the Aussie red cows they use in their dairy, Red Cow Dairies is a family operated farm in Oldina on the North West Coast of Tasmania, with a strong focus on sustainable farming.
Some of the cheese products produced by Red Cow Dairy include: Well Red Brie, Moozorella - individually hand stretched mozzarella cheese, Cream Cream Cream (triple cream brie), and Redder Fetta, which is a persian fetta marinated in Tasmanian olive oil, seasonal herbs and garlic.
Red Cow do not currently have an outlet to the public on their property, however there are many restaurants, providores and wineries around Tasmania where Red Cow products are available for purchase.
For more information please visit http://www.redcowdairies.com.au.
King Island Dairy
A land of rugged coastlines, fierce sea-spraying winds and the lushest of green pastures. Founded in the early 1900’s, King Island Dairy is the most well known export from King Island; the internationally acclaimed brand having had many successful years of cheesemaking.
Favourable soil and climate conditions make the island one of the few areas around the world where cows graze all year round, contributing to the high milk quality.
Specialising in white mould cheeses, King Island Dairy's products include soft white, blue vein, washed rind and cheddar cheese. There is also a Black Label range of artisan cheeses, only available from select gourmet retailers, restaurants and hotels. The tasting room is open every day except Saturday.
For more information please visit http://www.kingislanddairy.com.au.
The Wicked Cheese Company
Wicked Cheese is a relatively new cheese maker, officially having opened their doors in 2012. In only a few short years they have already made their mark in the cheese producing industry, with a considerable collection of awards under their belt.
Ideally situated along the wine route in Richmond, southern Tasmania, Wicked Cheese specialise in brie and camembert cheeses. For those who like to spice things up a bit, try their unique flavoured cheeses such as chilli camembert, pepperberry cheddar and whiskey cheddar.
Enjoy the perfect culinary pairings to their wonderful cheeses with a glass of wine at their onsite cafe. Open 7 days a week excluding Christmas Day and Good Friday.
For more information please visit http://www.wickedcheese.com.au.
Tongola Goat Products
Tongola Goat Products is a small goat farm in the Huon Valley that consists of 40 organically reared Swiss milking goats, each with their own name.
The cheeses produced here are Curdly (goats curd), a younger, fresh cheese called Capris, Bloom (a white mould cheese) and Billy, which is a strong flavoured, hard washed rind cheese.
Due to the small production size (the way owners Hans and Esther like it), the sought-after cheeses are sold only in a few select locations around Tasmania. One place to find them is at the Cygnet market, where you can also do a tasting and have a chat with the owners.
* Tongola goat products do not currently have a website
The Heritage at Lion Dairy
Although not a Tasmanian owned company, Lion's “The Heritage” factory located in Burnie on the North-West coast of Tasmania manufacture some of Tasmania’s popular commercial cheeses, such as Mersey Valley and Tasmanian Heritage - cheeses that can be spotted at almost any supermarket deli across Australia.
Mersey Valley produce a vintage cheddar that is sharp and crumbly yet also has a creamy texture. The distinctive cheese comes in 10 different varieties such as ploughmans, Basil and Garlic Pesto, Pickled Onion, and Sweet Chilli.
Tasmanian Heritage specialise in creamy, soft white cheeses and blue cheese.
Lion has recently invested in a $150 million upgrade to the factory, which is now the largest speciality cheese factory in the Southern Hemisphere.
For more information about Mersey Valley please visit http://www.merseyvalley.com.au.
For Tasmanian Heritage please visit http://www.tasmanianheritage.com.au.