Schulz Organic Dairy Returnable Milk Bottles

Schulz Organic Dairy have now produced the glass returnable, refundable milk bottle it got crowd funding for. The new glass bottles will replace the old ones introduced to farmers markets to test customer responses and will be rolled out to retail outlets on April 12. At present the list of retail outlets is confined to specialist wholefoods stores and David Jones Food Halls in the CBD and Malvern. It would be great to see the supermarkets (IGA) currently stocking Schulz Organic Dairy milk to also come on board with glass. I hope Schulz’s aim to get rid of plastic milk containers will spur consumers and other producers to reject plastic in favour of returnables. For more information on stockist and FAQs check the Schulz Organic Dairy website.

Schulz Organic Dairy A Glass Act

Cultured Butter A Cut Above The Rest

Cultured butter has been produced in Europe for centuries. Born out of farmhouse traditions of collecting cream over several milkings before churning to make butter, cultured butter was essentially made from soured cream. It still is made from sour cream today but live cultures are directly added much like in yoghurt making. Unsalted cultured butter is loved in Europe for eating as it has a pleasant very slightly sweet, slightly tangy taste as well as pro-biotics to aid digestion. It is the preferred butter for baking because of its higher fat content and lack of salt. Cultured butter has really taken off in Australia in the last few years with more and more small dairy producers trying their hand at making it. Great cream is where it all starts and Schulz Organic Dairy in Timboon have plenty of Gold Medal Award-winning cream, so it is not surprising that Schulz has just added cultured butter (salted and unsalted) to their list of products. Making small scale cultured butter is not a cheap process, so these butters tend to be double or a third more pricey than your industrial widespread stuff (sorry about the pun). For a similar price to fancy French imports you can now buy local versions.  Look for Schulz cultured butters at Farmers Markets around Melbourne and regional centres.

Returnable Milk Bottles

Schulz Organic Dairy in Timboon are piloting the sale of their milk in returnable glass milk bottles and its a wonderful thing. I love the look, feel and taste of milk from a bottle. While there is no rational explanation for it, the milk seems colder and tastes even better than usual when I drink a glass of this prize winning milk from the bottle. While cartons and plastic can get recycled, a glass bottle not only gets reused but its continual circulation in the system means a reduction in the amount of milk containers overall.  Once it reaches the end of a long life the glass can be recycled into something else or another milk bottle.  With glass you get the three Rs; Reuse, Reduce and Recycle. This sustainable approach to consumption is common in Germany, where most supermarkets accept returnable milk and yoghurt containers and some even provide a vending machine for you to refill the bottle yourself if you wish. Schulz Organic Dairy are only trialing the glass bottles at farmers markets for now but hope to roll them out to retail stores early next year. It would be wonderful to see glass bottles take off again in Australia.

Brigid’s Well

From the makers of Holy Goat cheeses in Sutton Grange, Victoria comes a new ash covered, creamy goats cheese called Brigid’s Well.  I’m pleased she is was my husband’s expected remark but when you see an entire 670 gram ring of this cheese you can imagine one of the many stone wells dedicated to St Brigid in Ireland that it is meant to represent. Brigid has been a figure in Irish folklore for centuries; originally thought to be the chief druid of the temple of the goddess Brigid in Kildare she later converted the site to a Christian monastery and adopted the name of Saint Brigid. Noted for many miracles, the list of her patronage is long and aptly includes dairy farmers and milkmaids. Her feast day, February 1st, is widely celebrated in Ireland, with elements of both the pagan and Christian custom, including the visiting of sacred Brigid wells.  While no particular foods are part of the celebration, the Gaelic tradition is of marking the beginning of Spring on Brigid’s Day. In the Southern hemisphere, while we are well in to Spring, it is a good time to enjoy this wonderful cheese and perhaps, for the Irish in you, add it to your cheese board on St Brigid’s day too. Portions of the ring are packaged and available from farmers markets around Melbourne or check the web site for stockists.

Holy Goat – Simply The Best

Holy Goat cheese producers in Sutton Grange, Victoria have regularly won awards from the Delicious Magazine Produce Awards. Their wonderful goat cheese, Silk, is a favorite of mine but I have to say all their cheeses are simply the best and it is not surprising that they have again secured a Gold Medal, this time for their newest product, Nectar, a washed rind, cow and goats milk cheese. You can find Holy Goat cheeses at numerous stockist around Melbourne or come to one of the accredited farmers’ markets they attend and have a taste of each of their cheeses. Even if you are a reluctant goat cheese eater I promise you will love the creamy and delicate flavours of Holy Goat cheese. I hope you enjoy the awards promotional video, which takes you back from the plate to the dairy to show you where and how these exceptional local cheeses are produced.

Holy Goat will be at Abbotsford Convent, Slow Food Farmers’ Market this Saturday September 23.