Meet Sarge. He’s one of the ‘stud’ goats at Drysdale Cheeses.
Easter Sunday, the Ferret and I went on a bit of an expedition. We drove through Drysdale, and the Ferret was just complaining that we were going to end up in Portarlington when we saw the wee sign pointing us in the direction of the farm.
Actually, this wasn’t just a random trek. Through Acabellas, bit by bit I have sniffed out the not-so-secret passion of my choir buddy Corrine Blackett.
Corrine and her husband Peter run their own goat farm where they create the most delicious cheese, milk and yoghurt. And on the first Sunday of the month, they open the farm gates from 1-4pm – you can come and pat the goats (if you’re brave 🙂 ) and taste the cheese.
While Corrine and Peter have spent most of their working lives as pharmacists, now the cute hairy guys consume a lot of their time.
“To know a goat is to love a goat,” enthuses Corrine.
I found it quite amazing that in this economic climate, this small business can barely keep up with the demand from local restaurants clamouring for their wares.
But after sampling same, the Ferret and I were in consensus that it was all damn fine tucker!
We tried a cheddar-style cheese – officially called a Corio Bay aged goats cheese – which tasted a bit like pecorino and the Shev – a divine creamy, tangy concoction. The Shev came unadulterated but also with garlic and sea-salt. We bought one of each and shared the garlic-flavoured one with another choir buddy Petrina who just happened to pop by with a bottle of Shy Pig champers later that day – what a delightful combination.
Corrine encouraged my girl (the Ferret) to stick with science. She’s used a lot of her pharmacology in cheese making and wishes that she concentrated a bit harder in some of her lectures. But she topped up her expertise by studying at the National Centre for Dairy Excellence in Werribee in 2004.
Now, the Blackett’s have been goat farmers for nine years – and it is so evidently a labour of love.
“I make cheese the way I like it,” Corrine grins. “Because then if I don’t sell it, I can eat it.”