Cheese. All of the cheese. All of the award winning cheese. All for free. The Australian Grand Dairy Awards presented Cheese Please, a twilight urban cheese festival. Meaning, all the delicious dairy products at the festival were award winners. The quality was clear in everything we sampled. The grand champion Heidi Farm Gruyere used traditional Swiss techniques. The Bay of Fires cheddar was aged for 12 months on pine boards and bound in cloth for a more crumbly texture. King Island Dairy’s Triple Cream Blue combined blue with brie for a rich flavour and cream texture. Fellow dairy fans were also treated to the likes of Ruby & Roy’s vanilla bean yoghurt, Paradise Beach Purveryours’ dairy dip, and choc tops complements of Bulla. Wow!
The inaugural festival kicked off at Testing Grounds – a cute location near the Arts Centre, filled with rustic pallets, hay bales, and, most importantly, a bar serving up wine and craft beer to complement all that cheese. Knowing full well that Melbourne is teeming with hordes of ravenous cheese lovers, Dairy Australia set up a lotto system for tickets (and received nearly 8,000 entries). So only a select few were allowed to pass through the gates into this magical cheese heaven. The tightly controlled list gave us a chance to casually stroll between stands and time to chat with the vendors. We listened to the Meredith Dairy rep wax poetic about naturally fermented yogurt and lined our pockets with recipe cards. I also suspect some lucky lactose lovers were deterred by the grey sky and cool weather. The fools! You can guarantee I’ll be getting out my lucky charms and entering the cheese lotto next year.
– Jenny S.
Jenny S developed her cheese loving credentials as a uni student working at a local creamery. She never says no to fresh ice-cream or aged cheddar.
Find recipes and learn more about the Australian Grand Dairy champions at Legendairy.