We put Burke Brandon, from Prom Country Cheese in our Studd Sibling hot seat in our recent visit to the dairy.
Moyarra Special Reserve by Prom Country
Good-quality raw milk is the essential ingredient in most of the world’s benchmark cheeses and that’s because it so beautifully reflects a genuine taste of place.
Despite small changes recently, strict Food Standards in Australia prevent the production and sale of most types of raw milk cheese. This presents limited opportunities for local artisan cheesemakers to compete with their overseas counterparts.
Moyarra special reserve is an exception.
This outstanding cheese was created in 2020 by cheesemaker Burke Brandon at Prom Country Cheese in the rolling hills of South Gippsland. It’s the first raw milk cheese to be produced in Victoria in more than half-a-century.
Made on the farm using organic ewe’s milk, it ticks all the boxes when it comes to Australian provenance.
Ripened for six months to a year under a thin, natural orange rind, the flavour and texture of the smooth and firm ivory interior varies between batches. This is, of course, what makes this local benchmark so interesting to work with. Look out for the subtle notes of caramel, dark chocolate, animal, ewe’s milk, and hazelnuts.
When we heard production of Moyarra would cease in 2022 due to the cost-prohibitive nature of testing small batches, we stepped in and bought the last of the cheese maturing on the shelves. We also worked with the dairy to cover the cost of one final season before the flock was sold and this magnificent cheese became extinct.
The last batch will be released later in 2023 – enjoy it while you can.
But there’s good news, too. The dairy is now working on several, new raw milk cheeses made from organic cow’s milk, so stay tuned.