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Published August 29th 2016
Good quality cheeses to tempt the tastebuds
There's something to be said for being able to try fresh local produce from the place where the product is made.
Upon the approach to Alexandrina Cheese Company, located at Mount Jagged, around 16/17 kms south of Mount Compass on the main Victor Harbor Road, your eyes focus on the Jersey cows out in the surrounding lush green paddocks.
Alexandrina Cheese goes back to 2001 and is a family run business offering an intimate knowledge of the dairy industry, going back generations. The company specialises in English Cheddars and are also renowned for their Dutch Gouda and Edam cheeses, being one of the few Australian producers making these type of cheeses.
In fact, their vintage cheddar is award winning, having received accolades as Australia's champion cheddar back in 2015, and their full cream milk crowned Australia's champion milk in 2014.
The farm shop at Mount Jagged gives you the opportunity to experience tastings of the varying types of cheeses on offer, or you may decide to stay and imbibe in one of their mouthwatering cheese platters.
Dependent upon how many of you visit will determine which platter is the best one to order. My wife and I ordered the Cheesemaker's Choice, which is designed for 2-3 people and we were able to try five different Alexandrina cheeses including Gouda, Edam, Vintage Cheddar, Mature Cheddar and a Cheddar Feta. The platter also included local kalamata olives, dill gherkins, Spring Gully balsamic pickled onions, apple chutney, warm pita bread and some water crackers.
All in all a great mix of flavours and it cost us $26. The menu also offers platters for 4-6 people or even single serves. If you feel like taking advantage of the magnificent landscape around the Fleurieu Peninsula, you can also take the platters away with you as a picnic hamper. There is extra cost involved if you decide on this option.
To really showcase the milk products, Alexandrina Cheese Company also offer a great range of milkshakes and even an Alexandrinashire tea, which offers either coffee, tea or a milkshake served with a slice of baked ricotta cheesecake topped with a generous dollop of Jersey cream. This experience costs $8.80 per person.
Once you taste some of the cheeses on offer, you realise immediately that quality is definitely the word that comes to mind.
The shop also sells a range of products associated with the dairy theme, including small milk bottles, cheese platters and recipe books. A large glass window allows you to glance into the processing plant and see some of the equipment used in making their iconic produce.
Alexandrina Cheese have a strong presence in the marketplace and are represented at the Willunga Farmers Market each fortnight on a Saturday from 8 am to 12.30 pm, and you can find them in the Alma Hotel Carpark at Willunga. The season for the markets runs from March until mid-December.
The company also has a stand at Adelaide Farmers Market held at Wayville every Sunday from 9 am - 1 pm (apart from during the time of the Royal Show).
The shop on Sneyd Road, Mount Jagged is open Mondays to Fridays 12 Noon to 5 pm, with weekends and public holidays (apart from Good Friday, Christmas Day and Anzac Day) from 10 am - 4.30 pm.
You can also access Alexandrina Cheese products at many outlets across Adelaide and South Australia. Dependent upon the colour of the wax wrappings for hard cheeses will determine how long they have been aged. For example, the black wax cheeses are the traditional cheddar and are aged between 15-18 months. The mature cheddar is normally coated in red wax and the aging process takes around 9 - 12 months.
Before we left Alexandrina Cheese, we could not go away without taking some samples home, and we decided upon some mature cheddar, vintage cheddar and some Matchett's Quince Paste made in Currency Creek.