The Grand Dairy Awards have always been the ‘Oscars’ of Australian cheese making.The 2011 winners were announced on 9 February and there were 19 Champions and two Grand Champions.There’s a full list of the cheeses and companies on the Dairy Australia website but the descriptions are over the top PR spin, eg. suggesting the Jindi Champion Cheese was ” crafted in honor of the fire engines and the firemen who fought tirelessly to defend the Jindi factory in February 2009. This cheese expresses many of the characteristics of those wonderful people. It’s powerful and courageous and at times challenging, with its memory lingering on.”
Courageous cheese? Crafted like a fire engine? Aaaagh, spare me!

The full winners list…

2011 Grand Champion Cheese
Old Telegraph Road Fire Engine Red
The red rind occurs by regular scrubbing with Brevibacterium linens, which also contributes to the strong aroma of this cheese.

See Russell Smith’s story on Jindi’s brie here

2011 Grand Champion Dairy Product
Casa Gourmet Yoghurt with Divine Mango
A luxurious thick and creamy yoghurt made with fresh Western Australian dairy product for the local market.

Casa Dairy Products West Australia

2011 Champion Fresh Unripened Cheese

Puglia Ricotta
The sweet and simple characters of fresh milk complemented by the characteristic flavour of soft scrambled eggs are immediately evident in this young cheese.
The Fresh Cheese Co.Victoria

2011 Champion White Mould Cheese
King Island Dairy Black Label Double Brie
Each wheelis hand brushed with Brevibacterium linens, which over time emerge as a speckled orange bloom among the cheese’s white mould exterior.

National Food Limited, TAS

2011 Champion Semi-Hard and Eye Cheese
Heidi Farm Raclette
Matured in 5kg wheels, each cheese is hand brushed and turned during maturation to ensure a thin pungent rind develops, imparting a nutty and barnyard like flavour into the centre of the cheese.

National Foods Limited, Tas

2011 Champion Cheddar-Style Cheese
Warrnambool Vintage Cheddar
Warrnambool Vintage Cheddar has the satisfying crumble of good cheddar, but the maturing technique leaves this vintage with a moist texture and a scattering of lactate crystals and a slight fruitiness.

Warrnambool Cheese and Butter Factory, Vic

2011 Champion Hard Cheese
Mil Lel Superior Pecorino
A piquant mature cow’s milk cheese, produced in a traditional Italian style, a firm and flaky interior With the distinctive robust, sweet and nutty flavour.

National Foods Limited

2011 Champion Blue Cheese
King Island Dairy Endeavour Blue
Made in a traditional Gorgonzola style, Endeavour Blue is a complex and full bodied blue. Made in 8kg barrel shaped rounds, the maturation of Endeavour Blue is slow and involved, requiring careful attention. Its natural rind encases a dense interior of deep blue veins, the blue flavour is contrasted by the cheese’s creaminess and fruity overtones.

National Foods Limited, TAS

2011 Champion Washed Rind Cheese
Old Telegraph Road Fire Engine Red
The red rind occurs by regular scrubbing with Brevibacterium linens, which also contributes to the strong aroma of this cheese. Break through the blossoming rind and a pale custardy centre is revealed with flavour characteristics including caramel, cauliflower and cabbage.

Jindi Cheese, Gippsland Victoria

2011 Champion Flavoured Cheese
Mamma Lucia Chilli Pecorino
Made in a traditional Pecorino style with fresh Australian cow’s milk, this dense cheese has a rich and nutty flavour offset by the kick of heat and subtle flavour from the red chilli flakes speckled throughout the body of the cheese.

The Fresh Cheese Co., Vic

2011 Champion Goats or Sheeps Milk Cheese
Meredith Dairy Ashed Pyramid
This creamy, soft, fresh goat’s cheese is coated in ash which protects the surface of the cheese and provides a stunning appearance. The flavour of this cheese is creamy with a fresh citrus note.

Meredith Dairy, Vic

2011 Champion Natural Yogurt
Mundella Greek Style Natural Yoghurt
A natural pot-set yoghurt, soft creaminess offset by tart flavour.

Mundella Foods, WA

2011 Champion Flavoured Yogurt
Casa Gourmet Yoghurt with Divine Mango
A thick and creamy yoghurt made for the local market.

Casa Dairy Products  West Australia

2011 Champion Ice Cream
Cocolat Ferrero Roche Ice Cream
Silky texture, the intense hazelnut and subtle chocolate work together.

Cocolat, Adelaide Hills. SA

2011 Champion Dairy Gelato
Caffe e Gelato Milany Dark Chocolate Gelato
A  dark gelato, super smooth and dense, the flavour is of intense bitter/sweet dark chocolate.

Caffe e Gelato Milany, Brisbane QLD

2011 Champion Dairy Dessert
Belgian Chocolate Mousse
A rich and delightfully fluffy Belgian chocolate mousse.

The Belgian Chocolate Mousse Company, Southern Highlands, NSW.

2011 Champion Milk
Dairy Farmers Milk
The award-winning entry was produced in the Clarence Gardens Factory in South Australia.

Parmalat Food Products, SA

2011 Champion Specialty White Dairy Drink
Farmdale Light Milk
A 98% fat free and light and sweet in taste it is produced for Aldi Australia.

Norco Foods, NSW

2011 Champion Flavoured Dairy Drink
Pauls Egg Nog
Thick and creamy milk, spiked with a hint of nutmeg and vanilla.

Parmalat Australia Ltd, Nambour, Qld

2011 Champion Cream
Bulla Premium Sour Cream
With 35% milk fat and a distinct light tang within its creamy profile. It is thick, glossy, with a smooth texture.

Bulla Dairy Foods, Vic

2011 Champion Butter
Western Star Unsalted Butter
Creamy and nutty in flavour. A versatile butter, ideal for creating cakes, biscuits and pastries.

Fonterra Brands (Australia) Pty Ltd, Vic.

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