Ignore the vocalists from the back seat chorus line demanding 'Are we there yet?', 'Why are we stopping?'. Make sure you pull into the driveway, follow it to the left to the cheese factory and farm gate shop of Bassine Speciality Cheeses. These artisan cheeses are worth stopping for.
Attilio and Mary Bisognin established the farm in 1966, their son Glen now runs the farm with partner Kaye Courtney whose cheese-making hobby has developed into the fabulous Bassine Cheese range. They and their son Luke look after and milk the 180 grass fed Holstein cows on the farm. The cafe and shop has been open since June 2014 and the demand for their cheeses has steadily increased.
Cheese is made in the purpose built cheese making facility attached to the cafe. Cheeses include: Brie, Camembert, Coulommiers, Haloumi, Ricotta, Feta, Washed Rind, Parmigiano (Parmesan), Gouda and Quark. Quark is versatile as like Ricotta it can be used as a spread on bread with either a savoury or sweet topping and for savoury and sweet dishes. Quark is traditionally used in Germany and Eastern Europe for both baked and unbaked cheese cakes and desserts. Feta is available in various marinades of oil and spices including Lemon Myrtle, Pepper Berries and Chilli.
There are internal windows in the shop, allowing a view into the cheese making facility so you can watch it in action. I love seeing the perfectly round cheeses, quietly maturing to perfection.
The first time I dropped in they had a mature Taleggio which was amazing. With crackers and bread available for purchase you have your cheese platter well catered for. Pretty soon the French Holy Trinity will be complete when they are granted their liquor license.
The fresh pasteurised but non-homogenised milk and cream under the name 'Bass River Dairies' is produced directly from the dairy farm. It is available for purchase in the shop and in local stores. Non-homogenised means the cream in the milk rises to the top, thus leaving it in its natural state. Some health sources report this allows your body to easily digest the cream which the body can then use efficiently as it remains 'whole' instead of fragmented by the homogenisation process.
The well known and delectable Norgen Vaaz Ice Cream is a magnet for the back seat chorus line, it is reasonably priced at $5 for 2 scoops. The back seat chorus line happens to love cheese as well and I had to elbow them out of the way to get a taste of the cheeses on the tasting platter. Milkshakes are also available.
Very interesting; I drive past the little black and white sign on my way to work every day. It looks good. In fact I'd rather like to spend a weekend at Grantville. I sometimes stop there in the early morning for birdwatching.