Luxury can be defined by the simplest of things such as surrounding yourself with life’s little indulgences. For some it could be a cup of tea in bed on a rainy winter morning, to others it is the luxury of having time to spend with their family. Whether it’s happiness found in music, a glass of wine while you unwind after a long day, investing in a beautiful piece of art or having access to well-crafted artisanal items, it can be different for everyone. Enter King Island Dairy, the home of gourmet dairy produce and makers of luxury cheese.
Situated in the middle of the high Bass Straight waters, somewhere between Victoria and Tasmania, lies the beautiful, yet isolated, King Island. Beaten by lashing winds and roaring waves the island is a treasure trove of wild beaches, lush green-grass farmlands, jagged reefs and an abundance of natural fauna and flora. It is safe to say that this magical island is home to a rich heritage, which only adds it’s alluring charm.
A visit to King Island will see the nature lovers and foodies amongst us in pure paradise. Boasting spectacular views, private white sand beaches, walking trails and forest, if a luxurious moment away from everyday life is what you seek – you’ve found the destination. Specialising in melt-in-your-mouth beef, seafood favourites such as crayfish, scallops and oysters and, of course, sinfully rich cheeses, there is an abundance of gourmet produce to suit every taste. With that being said, no trip to island is complete without a visit to King Island Dairy.
It is rare that Mother Nature creates a terroir that is idyllic for perfecting the art of cheese making. But in this part of the world the soils are mineral rich, the rainfall is ample, a salt spray is carried on the westerly sea breeze and the annual temperature is cool. These environmental factors ultimately combine to create an abundance of pristine pastures and fertile farmlands. It is this geography and cultivated culture that contribute to the production of the purest, high quality, sweet milk and in turn sees King Island Dairy creating some of the finest artisanal cheese around. After all, wasn’t it famed American author, Brad Kessler, that once said “Ever raw milk cheese is an artefact of the land. It carries the imprint of the earth from which it came. It’s a living piece of geography. A sense of place.”
…he has a point.
A visit to the King Island Dairy tasting room is, how do I put this, delicious! Producing award winning, world class cheese on site, a visit to the tasting room allows you to sample all of their most popular products. Like a kid in a candy store the variety of cheese available for tasting is varied and generous. Starting at one end of the room you can make your way through the display of soft white, blue vein, washed rind and cheddar cheese – and, if you have a favourite, you can go back for more. I know I did (seconds, thirds, who’s counting!).
If you’re like me and the thought of twelve assortments of artisanally crafted gourmet cheese laid out before you is just a little bit exciting, your instinct may be to rush from one to the next. If this is the case, I will impart some cheese monger words of wisdom – take your time! Honestly, it requires time (and a little willpower) to fully enjoy the complexity of pairment and taste each cheese has to offer. In doing so, you will allow a little luxury to truly become a part of your life in this very moment. You’ll thank me later.
While cheese tasting at King Island Dairy is a definite drawcard (did I mention there is a shop front? You can purchase any favourites at wholesale prices to take home with you!) this little island is teeming with big adventures to be had.
Once you’ve completed your visit to the tasting room, make sure you check out some of the following Kind Island highlights for a trip to remember:
• Visit Disappointed Beach (Don’t be fooled by the name, there is nothing to be disappointed about)
• Take a drive to Cape Wickham Light House
• Pay a visit to the Kelp Factory, where kelp is hung, dried and processed in preparation for exporting
• Check out the surf at Martha Beach
• Pay a visit to the town center Currie
• If you are an avid golfer, there are multiple pristine golf courses situated around the island
• Trail riding is on offer through multiple companies, a good Google will suffice
Being a luxurious treat cheese should be consumed in moderation, just as you would most other foods. However, there are some serious benefits to our favourite dairy product that you may be unaware of. Next time you are indulging on a little luxury and someone tries to tell you that cheese is bad for your health, arm yourself with these quick facts:
• Cheese can in fact reduce the acidity in the mouth which helps to stop the spread of harmful bacteria and plaque.
• Being a dairy product, cheese provides your body with calcium and phosphorus and which assist the prevention of demineralisation.
• It’s good for your teeth! It can help to strengthen enamel.
• It can help restore a healthy pH balance, by washing your mouth with increased saliva production.
• It’s a great source of protein which is needed to produce energy for muscles
And, what is not to love about the classic Cheddar – one of the best for your bone health. Cheddar is loaded with calcium, and minerals that are needed to help strengthen your bones. It can even help lower blood pressure. Added bonus? it can help relieve with PMS symptoms!
Author: Alexandra Meakin for A Conscious Collection
This article first appeared on A Conscious Collection.