heritage country cheese
On a recent weekend break in the Blackwood River Valley I made K drive to the middle of nowhere (through fog and a close encounter with an angry cow – a real cow, not me) so I could taste some cheese.
Heritage Country Cheese is somewhere between Nannup and Balingup, on a winding, scenic road, passing orchards, rolling hills and patches of forest. The cheese is handmade from local milk in a small cheese factory, which can be glimpsed through the shop window. The shop is even smaller than the factory – there’s enough room for maybe three people and the two fridges filled with ice cream and cheese.
About ten cheeses are made on site but it could vary seasonally as we didn’t see the entire full range. After snaffling a few taste tests, we left with a small wheel of their new release camembert and a block of their best selling chilli garlic club cheddar.
The camembert was perfectly ripe, slightly oozy with rich, milky flavour between the rather sharp tasting rind. If it wasn’t for the strong mould, it would have been fantastic.
The chilli garlic club cheddar speckled with chilli was fabulously spicy in the mouth. It sounds like a weird combination but the mildness of the cheddar meant the garlic added quite a punch. This is a great local cheese. (I like it with a dab of corn relish – a combo of sweet, spicy and stinky!)
The opportunity to taste local farmhouse and handmade cheese is disappointingly rare in Western Australia, despite the south west being a dairy region. So if you love cheese and happen to be in the Blackwood Valley, go for a scenic drive and pick up a block of the club cheddar. Watch out for those loose cows!
Heritage Country Cheese
1435 Balingup-Nannup Road, Balingup WA 6253
T: (08) 9764 1016
Open Fri – Tue 10am – 5pm, open 7 days during school holidays
(Cheese can also be bought at Twin Hill, Lancaster & Garbin Estates in Swan Valley.)
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