Avid trail runner, freelance writer and a mother of four with a healthy obsession for the great outdoors. Join me in my discoveries along the Mornington Peninsula and further afield by subscribing to my articles.
The 'paddock to plate' movement in Australia is at an all-time high with consumers making a concerted effort to seek out sustainable, quality produce wherever possible. Here at the Main Ridge Dairy on the Mornington Peninsula, the connection between paddock to plate is clear to see.
Driving through the front gates, you will see some of the dairy herd that consists of around 200 free-range goats on around 130 acres. These goats are milked twice daily to produce the milk that is used in their award-winning range of handmade farmhouse cheeses.
We chose the cheese tasting plate for two $20 (pictured above), though it was generous enough for the 3 of us to share and be satisfied. The cheese board came with a variety of 10 different cheeses, olives, relish, quince paste and water crackers. My favourite cheese was the aged Caprino cheese [Aged for over 6 months, this Romano style goat cheese has a measured bite with a sweet nutty aftertaste] -from Main Ridge Dairy website. As for the other two, we couldn't go past the Marinated Chèvre [Delicate soft and creamy slow set lactic curds immersed in garlic, lemon and rosemary flavoured oil.] - from the Main Ridge Dairy website, and the Feta [A traditional feta that is dense and creamy, but crumbly in texture.] - from the Main Ridge Dairy website. Though I could have sat and eaten the beetroot relish all afternoon!
I'd never tried goat's milk, or goat's cheese before... so one of the lovely ladies poured a complimentary sample for us to try whilst waiting for the cheese plate and coffees to be made. Whilst I was expecting the taste of the fresh goat's milk to be markedly different to regular cow's milk, though I couldn't actually taste much of a difference, except if anything, it's ever so slightly smoother/lighter than cows milk, with a hint of sweetness. I'm told that goat's milk is much easier to digest than cows milk and is a healthier option. No complaints here!
Whilst we were sitting in the cafe, I couldn't help but admire the simple, yet rustic style of the dairy that overlooks the stunning countryside. I could imagine this place being a perfect setting for a internment, country-style wedding.
This sounds great Lorraine. I am among the many people now who cannot have cow's milk, so to hear of a place that has such a range of goat's cheese is brilliant. Great way to spend a day. Do they use goat's milk in their coffee. :)