It takes three years to make and a lot of care an attention, but a Tasmanian parmesan has won the major cheese award at this year’s Dairy Industry Association of Australia Tasmanian Dairy Awards.
The Ashgrove Signature parmesan beat entries from around the country to win this year’s champion cheese award at the DIAA competition, which was held in conjunction with the Royal Fine Food Awards.
The Tasmanian branch of the Dairy Industry Association of Australia held its annual awards evening last week in Launceston.
Ashgrove chief executive officer Richard Bennett said they were thrilled to win the champion cheese award, which was a first for them in the Fine Food competition.“
The Tasmanian cheese industry is one of the best in the world and we’re immensely proud to be recognised as the producer of the top cheese in the state, especially against a such strong competition,” Mr Bennett said.
“It’s an honour to be chosen from so many top products. Our Signature range takes up to three years to age, and it’s very rewarding to know it’s been worth the wait.”
Products for the company’s signature range cheeses are carefully selected during cheesemaking process.
Mr Bennett said after that they receive a high level of attention throughout the maturing process, which for parmesan can take three years.
“We do put a lot of effort into selecting and looking after the signature cheeses because they are premium products,” he said.
Mr Bennett said milk for the products was also specially selected.
“Because we source our own milk, we know which farm it is coming from and what the cows are being fed,” he said. “The milk quality changes throughout the year, so we have spring calving and autumn calving herds.”
Mr Bennett said the win now sets them up to enter the prestigious Australian Grand Dairy Awards.He said their next goal is to win the Grand Champion Cheese category nationally.
Other Ashgrove products awarded gold medals include the Signature Eddington Farm Vintage Cheddar, Farm House Butter, Herb & Garlic Butter, Full Cream Milk, Light Milk, Pure Cream, Tasmanian Organic Milk.
The Reserve Champion cheese award went to Saputo Australia’s Heidi Farm Tilsit.
In the Other Dairy Product category, the Champion award went to the Bream Creek Dairy’s Full Cream Milk and the Reserve Champion was Tas Foods Ltd’s Betta Espresso Flavoured Milk.
The Champion Ice Cream was won by the Coal Valley Creamery’s Cinnamon Peach Crumble and Reserve Champion was Van Diemans Land Creamery’s Salted Caramel.
In the Goat and Sheep Products, the Champion was Tas Foods Ltd’s Meander Valley Goat Milk and Reserve Champion was Meredith Dairy’s Marinated Goats Cheese from Victoria.