The Australian Grand Dairy Awards gets grander every year. This year marked the twentieth anniversary of the awards, with the cream of the crop recognising the best of the best in the Australian dairy industry. The esteemed judges had the enviable task of tasting their way through four hundred gold medal products, ranging from butter to blue cheese, to award a coveted few championship trophies.
Half way through the awards and my plus one and I were already planning a cheese-fuelled road trip. The brie-lliant ‘Southern Briez’ from Apostle Whey is produced on Victoria’s picturesque coast line – where visitors can watch the cows being milked at the paddock to plate operation. And I can personally vouch for the Dooley’s chocolate ice cream experience. The local Apollo Bay shop is covered in awards and a must-do on any Great Ocean Road trip. Then there’s the Bega Heritage Reserve Vintage Cheddar. Consumers will undoubtedly recognise the Bega brand from the supermarket shelves. But this special crumbly, aged sharp cheddar is only available from the Bega Cheese Heritage Centre.
For those looking for something closer to home, Fritz Gelato is Melbourne made. Their memorable Italian-style Hazelnut treat scooped up the trophy out of 120 other competitors in the category, so you know this traditional treat is going to be good. Or just pick up a stick of Western Star Salted Butter. It’s Australia’s most awarded butter, made with two simple ingredients – cream and salt.
The night celebrated both the fun and elegant sides of dairy, with treats ranging from gooey cheese tortillas to dainty buffalo ricotta tarts. While my plus one and I toasted the championship cheese platter with Victorian wine and a breath taking view of the Melbourne city skyline.
Jenny Schmidt’s love affair with dairy started with a part-time job in a creamery as a university student. When she’s not stuffing her face with cheese, you can find her sampling the latest craft beer or sipping a creative cocktail.
Explore all the Legendairy winners here.