A cheeseboard is like a masterpiece, according to the experts at Ashgrove, Tasmania’s multi-award winning producers of milk, cheese, cream and butter products.
It needs texture, colour and a story and is best displayed simply, says Richard Bennett, general manager and Ashgrove’s most awarded cheese maker.
“When you are preparing a cheese board you should choose cheeses that will add a variety of flavour, texture, age and colour and use a range from mild to sharp, soft to hard and fresh to aged,” he said.
“Select between two to five cheeses and plan on about 50 grams of cheese per person.
“A good way to go about it is to try to stick to a theme. For example you could create a regional cheese board or select a variety of cheeses from the one producer. Or if you want to be a bit more creative use cheeses made from different milks i.e. cow, sheep, buffalo or goat.”
Cheese is best enjoyed at room temperature so be sure to take your cheese out of the refrigerator one to two hours before serving.
So what would be Richard’s perfect cheeseboard?
“It would include a cloth-aged cheddar, a creamy blue, an English county cheese, a continental cheese and one uniquely Tasmanian cheese.”
Accompaniments - Fresh pears, apples, cherries, figs, grapes, dried apricots or muscatels. Choose rustic bread and crackers that won’t overshadow the cheese.
Storage - Store cheese in the compartments or vegetable crisper inside your fridge. The length of time you can keep cheese also differs according to the variety; in general, the harder the cheese, the longer it will last.
By Lana Best
Established over 20 years ago by Lorraine Mance and her husband Geoff, Westhaven Dairy has a philosophy based on family tradition, with Lorriane, her daughter and granddaughter all a part of the business.
Originally Westhaven Dairy started as a goats’ milk farm in Winkleigh, but since then has grown to include cows’ milk products when the processing facility moved to the old Peters Ice Cream factory on Talbot Road. After 19 years at that site, Westhaven Dairy now operates from a Dairy factory in the Tamar Valley.
All milk used in the Westhaven Dairy range of products are sourced from the clean, green environment of Northern Tasmania.
Hand made with no colours, flavours or emulsifiers, the Westhaven Dairy range includes Fetta, Marinated Fetta, Persian Fetta, Yoghurt, Chevre, Haloumi, Havarti, Gouda, Quark and Paneer.
Since its inception, Westhaven Dairy has received many Gold Silver and Bronze medals at the Royal Melbourne, Sydney Royal Easter and Wrest Point Hobart Fine Food Awards.
Westhaven Dairy works closely with its distribution partners to supply the range of customers in the state of Tasmania. To IGA stores in Tasmania, Westhaven Dairy partners with Eden Foods to supply product to stores.
Pandani Select Foods have been producing unique, flavour-packed smallgoods for three generations and their range also includes niche gourmet hams, salamis and pastramis.
“Our products are slightly different to the run-of-the-mill,” said Pandani director Mr Grant Ingles
The family owns and operates the well known smallgoods manufacturing business in Somerset and continues to evolve with the times.
“We try to offer premium Tassie products at competitive prices which contribute to the development of the Tasmanian economy,” Mr Ingles said.
“We started with IGA eight years ago and got along really well with them. From there we started to specifically manufacture products to suit them from gaps they identified in their market.
“This then meant they were able to provide slightly different products to what were available in the major supermarket chains and the arrangement has worked out really well for both of us.
“We like their philosophy, which is about supporting local people in the local community and furthering the local economy.”
Pandani sources its products by choosing quality meats from the best breeds to create a smallgoods range.
“Our products definitely have a unique taste when compared to products of the bigger producers and I think they are popular because of this.
“Our smallgoods are more natural and handcrafted and not mass produced like many products you will see in supermarket delis.”
by Lana Best
Farming is in the Houston’s blood, and with two generations of farmers making their mark and another in training, there’s a sense of both history and future dreams in the making.
You can see the spirit of innovation in everything they do, from their low-impact farming practices, to working with other Tasmanian growers to create a new range of ready-to-eat meals in the company’s purpose-built processing plant in Cambridge.
It begins with the land itself, which is tended and rested to build up the soil’s health before planting. Together with careful crop rotation, they select insect and disease resistant varieties, while encouraging a balance of beneficial insect life to help keep other pests under control.
It all started back in 1957 when Irish immigrant, Maitland Houston made the long journey by sea to Hobart with his wife, Bunty and their six children to start a new life. Twenty five years later, Houston’s Farm has baby leaf crops spread across 300 hectares and employs 300 people in peak season, producing and delivering 100,000 cartons of salad leaves a week to supermarkets and restaurants across Australia.
Lindsay Bourke started his one man apiarist business in 1966, eventually evolving into what is now known as Australian Honey Products.
Australian Honey Products is Tasmania’s largest apiary with an excess of 3,800 hives. The company produces native, organic, infused and Manuka Honey.
Australian Honey Products operate under three brand names: Cradle Mountain Honey, Sheffield Honey Farm and Taverner’s Boutique Brewery.
Awarded for our Leatherwood honey, this is uniquely Tasmanian and is sourced from the West Coast rainforest wilderness including Cradle Mountain. Our Leatherwood honey is great for marinating meat, chicken and seafood. Being a strong flavoured honey, a small amount is needed. Leatherwood honey is also a great accompaniment with blue cheese.
Clover honey comes from our rich agricultural areas.
Hives are moved throughout Tasmania, utilising the pristine environment and the benefits of being the only GMO-free state in Australia