Thursday, 4 February 2010

2010 Dairy Australia Grand Dairy Awards

The 2010 Dairy Australia Grand Dairy Awards ceremony was held yesterday in Melbourne, with Tasmania doing extremely well at this prestigious event.

The 2010 Grand Champion overall winner was the Tasmanian Heritage Red Square cheese, made by National Foods.

The 2010 Champion White Mould Cheese was the Wicked Brie from The Wicked Cheese Company.

The Champion Cheddar-Style Cheese was Ashgrove’s Traditional Cloth Matured Cheddar.

The 2010 Champion Semi-Hard and Eye Cheese was Heidi Farm's Tilsit, from National Foods.

The Champion Blue Cheese was King Island Roaring Forties Blue, by National Foods.

The Champion Washed Rind Cheese was the Tasmanian Heritage Red Square, National Foods again.

And finally, the Champion Dairy Dessert was a beautifully crafted little delicacy from Tant Pour Tant in Launceston – Le Framboise.

To quote Dairy Australia:
Tant Pour Tant Le Framboise is an edible work of art. An almond dacquoise base is topped with high quality milk chocolate mousse, raspberry jelly blended with framboise liqueur and finished with an almond sponge collar. A truly decadent French style dessert!

Tant Pour Tant
Tant Pour Tant, is a Tasmanian owned and operated company that focuses heavily on offering its customers the opportunity to purchase local product, utilising Tasmanian produce where possible. Tant Pour Tant specialises in the production of the finest quality, contemporary produce.

Rita offers her most sincere congratulations to all winners, and wishes she could sample the Tant Pour Tant offering NOW, judging by the look of it on the Dairy Australia website!

Posted on by Rita


Anonomouse said...

LOL... They are all pretty poor cheeses. King Island haven't done anything good for years. Roaring Forties is terrible. The Red Square is used on function menus. I have never ever seen it on any cheese board anywhere at any decent restaurant. Ashgrove Cheddar is good. The Wicked Brie is horrible. Firstly, it's not Brie - unless they imported it from the Brie region of France - it's an Appellation d’origine contrôlée. Secondly, it is horrible. Large concentration of ammonia in comparison to a great Brie, poorly made and no character. It may actually be worse than King Island cheeses.

Australian cheeses are terrible. There are very few great cheeses in this country (Pyengana comes to mind) and great cheesemakers. After travelling through France, Italy and Spain, coming back to Australian cheeses is embarassing. Any self respecting chef or cheese lover knows this, which is why foreign cheeses are the only cheeses on quality restaurants cheese board. I'm yet to see a hatted restaurant put an Australian cheese on regularly. Pyengana is probably the only one.

How can we possibly produce good cheese when we can't even use raw milk?

Anonymous said...

Elitism-Kraft singles outsell every other chees put together-Millions of Australian consumers cant be wrong?

Anonomouse said...


Lucy said...

Anonomouse, as soon as you admit you're a proponent of Ashgrove cheddar, your opinion on good cheese no longer counts.

Anonomouse said...

Oops... There was meant to be another couple of words after that. It was meant to read "Ashgrove Cheddar is good for door stops." It's horrible. All their stuff is. It's really no different to Coon or "Tasty". Sorry, the phone rang while I was typing. As I said before, They are all pretty poor cheeses.

Anonymous said...

what about that cryovac sheeps milk cheese that comes over from the mainland & says that its made here? Where does that rate?

lemon curd said...

Hi Anonomouse,

You imply the AOC controls the use of Brie to describe a cheese. I'm pretty sure it is only Brie de Meaux and Brie de Melun that have been granted protection of AOC and it is those brands rather than the variety of cheese or region of production that are afforded said protection?

The AOC system in general is a consumer guarantee of a particular standard of production and end product rather than a protection for business (ie. Champagne is afforded an AOC in its own right, but use of the word Champagne to describe wine produced outside of the region is governed not by the AOC but by the 1891 Treaty of Madrid which has been accepted by most major wine producing countries in the world.)

Happy to be corrected though!! My info is going back a few years...
loves my cheeses

Anonomouse said...

According to my sources, it can only be named Brie if it is produced in the Brie province in France. You are correct in saying that there are only two types of Brie with AOC status. A true brie can only be produced using raw milk. Therefore it is a Brie STYLE cheese rather than a Brie. Same thing with Camembert. It is only a true Camembert if it is from the Camembert commune in France, and if it is produce from raw milk. Also, the French government forbids the manufacture and sale of a product under a name which has AOC status, which Brie and Camembert both have. However, it can be ambiguous, as some towns share the same name as some appellations. So I may be incorrect in saying they can't use the name Brie, but I am pretty sure I am correct in saying that they need to label it as Brie Style Cheese rather than Brie. Which is a problem, because most countries don't follow French law but their own and can lead to rather questionable labelling for the uninformed.

I'm fairly sure cheesemakers in Australia will want to argue with this though. I'm expecting backlash...

Tassiegal said...

Funny - I had this chat with Nat @ Montys on Saturday night. Australia cheeses are not quite developed and mature enough. She was telling me they had a group in who did a blind tasting of one of their cheeses (4 types of the same "sort") and the French came out WAAAY ahead of the others.
I will admit I am a cheese snob. I dont mind Ashgrove cheese, but as for the others....not really my cup of tea. Give me a good smoked english chedder over an Australian cheese anyday.

But i DO want to try that dessert....any chance you can organise a bloggers tasting rita???

Tassiegal said...

You forgot Heidi Farm Rita!
Champion Semi-Hard and Eye Cheese – Heidi Farm Tilsit (TAS)

Rita said...

Thanks all, for your responses, which I found interesting. I must admit that when I looked at the list of Tasmanian winners, I too found myself disagreeing with the majority. I buy Heidi and Ashgrove, but that's about it for that list. My current favourites are Buche d'Affinois (from Hill St) and a beautiful Italian Reggiano from the hunky guy at Italian Pantry!
Thanks TG - I just KNEW there was one I'd forgotten! I have rectified this now. And I definitely would arrange a bloggers tasting at Tant Pour Tant if we were in Launceston. Need your private contact details too, for any future dates, if you would like to come along.

Nick Haddow said...

Hi Rita,

Don't your readers just love a good cheese story!

Perhaps the most interesting aspect of this show is not who won but who did not enter. I am sure that you will find most of the artisan makers in Australia (and Tasmania) did not show their cheese. Does this mean that the best cheeses in Australia were not in the running? Or does it mean that the best cheeses in Australia won?

The winners are in fact not all that surprising - all of the cheeses are well made and without fault. Judging them on the set criteria where points are deducted for poor appearance, flavour and texture normally means these kind of cheeses do well at shows. But sadly they are of not much interest to consumers who place value on flavour and integrity. (My experience of judging cheese in Australia, NZ and the UK is that the cheeses that win are rarely the cheeses the judges choose to eat after the judging is finished!)

I agree with most of the comments but I would love to stop hearing the French v Australian debate. It assumes that all French and all Australian cheeses are of the same standard. I have had some pretty ordinary French cheeses, likewise, I have had some amazing Australian cheeses. Lets judge them on their own merits.

Having said that as a cheese maker I often go to France for inspiration, further my knowledge and to benchmark my own cheeses. And I have many memories of incredible cheeses I have eaten in France.... It is difficult to imagine a French tourist returning home with lusty memories of any of the Grand Dairy Award winners.

Maybe I am just jealous. Congratulations to all the winners - especially the Tasmanian ones!

Anonomouse said...

Best cheeses in Australia did not enter.

They are very much "commercial" cheeses. By that I mean they are like fruity easy drinking wines. Anyone can have them, they taste okay but don't really have any interesting characteristics or integrity. Pretty much if you see it in Coles or Woolies, it's not very good.

Whereas cheeses such as what Nick makes, aren't usually for everyone or at least they won't appreciate/understand/know about them (follow the marketing of Krap Island for example) etc. The difference is, his cheeses and other artisan producers cheeses, beat most of the competition hands down. They have character, show integrity and are full of little quirks that you will notice.

On the French v Australia thing, I'm saying on average, based on what I have tasted over the years, quality French cheeses usually beat quality Australian cheeses. It may well be personal preference, but I guess that's the wonderful thing about food. I too have tasted some terrible French (and Spanish, Italian, German, English cheeses for that matter) over the years. I have also tasted some wonderful, world class Australian cheeses also, such as Pyengana and Nick's own Lewis, which wouldn't look out of place on any cheese trolley in the world.

Anonomouse said...

LOL... No cheese expert. Definitely not a cheese expert.... Just have an opinion, really enjoy food (wife says I love it more than her. She may actually be right) and really enjoy understanding and researching it. Cheese is a very important part of life you know!!!

Tassiegal said...

Rita - my email is in my profile.

Christina said...

Nooooooo! sob, sob!

Anonymous said...

Nothing like being 'outed' publicly I reckon.

Anonymous said...

good to see your still reviewing restaurants...

Tassiegal said...

Were those last comments directed at me???

Anonymous said...

ha ha ha ha