Oh what a delicious thought. I awoke yesterday morning, the sun was shining, the birds were singing and I was safe in the knowledge that my seemingly endless desire for cheese was definitely going to be sated. Blue cow cheese company was the brainchild of Nick Bath, way back in 1998 he saw a gap in the market and sought to fill it. Nick Bath’s vision was to introduce Western Australian customers to imported and local premium quality cheeses and dairy products. And boy am I glad he did!
Margaret River is one of the countries most important wine regions and generally with good wine, comes good food. Cheese is a huge part of my culinary world, whether it is showcased on our menu at work or simply showcased on my kitchen counter at the end of a hard day, coupled with a glass of wine. So we headed out to Wise Winery to enjoy some beautiful cheeses and glorious views of the ocean in the distance. We tasted five french cheeses which have just landed on our shores, now that Nick Bath and his team are directly importing from Europe. I always eat cheese and pay attention but yesterday I was taught how to taste cheese properly. Apparently you should really work it around your mouth, imagine a cow chewing the cud but try to keep your mouth shut, you don’t want to offend your friends. All the cheeses we tasted were matched with wines and all were a resounding success.
My favourite cheese of the day was the Xavier David Epoisses AOP. Now, my friends, this cheese has a lot of personality so try to have an open mind. If your preference is mild generic cheddar then please leave the room now. By personality, I mean stench. To me it was gloriously pungent. Yes it was smelly but in a good way, it had a sultry, funky aroma that was a little sweet but then when you put it in your mouth, a briny, salty kick assaults your senses. This initial jab of flavour is then mellowed by a creamy, buttery richness and rounds out nicely. Yum, bloody yum! I could have eaten a bucket of it, I don’t advise eating such quantities but I damn well would have tried.
It was such a pleasant, relaxing day. It is not often that you have the chance to mingle withlike-minded people who believe that good food comes at a price and so it should. That price reflects the quality and integrity of the producers and distributors. Supporting the people and businesses who are seeking perfection and approaching food with respect and a sense of conscience is the only way we are going to see changes in the eating habits of a nation. Now, go and buy yourself a cheese you’ve never tried before, life’s too short to keep eating the same supermarket cheddar.
If you want to learn more about cheese the blue cow website www.bluecow.com.au has fantastic tasting notes on various domestic and international cheeses. Enjoy!