The area where I live is rich in food production. My home town of Cobden is a service centre for the dairy industry, and is home to the factory that gives you Western Star butter, Mainland cheese and Perfect Italiano cheeses among other excellent dairy brands.
Completely separate from the big companies like Fonterra, Warrnambool Cheese and Butter and Sungold Milk, there are a number of artisan food producers that offer excellent products in local settings.
On Saturday, we headed out to visit a number of places on the 12 Apostles Gourmet Food Trail. To be honest, I don’t think you could do them all in a day and still do each one justice, but it would make an absolutely fantastic weekend trip from Geelong, Melbourne or Adelaide.
We comfortably managed five of the stops in addition to lunch in beautiful Port Campbell.
Our first visit was to Apostle Whey Cheese at Cooriemungle, where they make a delicious range of cheeses. My favourite is the marinated feta, while my dad loves their smoked cheddar. The views are spectacular, and the garden is beautiful.
The next stop was Gorge Chocolates at Princetown, Victoria, just a few kilometres from where we spent fifteen years dairy farming. There are dozens of varieties of chocolates on offer, with a limited number available to taste.
Also available here are a number of llama and alpaca wool products and themed gift ideas.
Next was the 12 Rocks Beach Bar in Port Cambpell for lunch. This place is a bit of a favourite – their steak sandwiches and burgers are excellent, and they do a delicious chicken parmigiana.
After lunch we had a walk on the foreshore and checked out a few of the local shops before heading off to the nearby town of Timboon.
The Timboon Cheesery is excellent, but because we had visited recently, we skipped that stop and went on to visit the Timboon Railway Shed Distillery. We hadn’t been there before, but it’s really nicely set up. You can have coffee and cake or a meal there, enjoy a whiskey or liqueur tasting, and shop for a range of locally produced products – jams, sauces, oils, meat and smallgoods, and the list goes on.
Almost next door is the Timboon Ice Creamery, where the ice cream is just divine. I usually have either honeycomb or their passionfruit meringue, but this time I was excited to find a new flavour – maple and cinnamon – which was so good it nearly blew my mind. It made my inner Canadian very happy indeed.
To complete the homeward loop, we headed to Dairylicious Farm Fudge. With at least a dozen different varieties of fudge on offer for tasting, there’s something to please every palate. They also offer cake and coffee or tea, and a range of cold drinks.
By the time we got home, we were all ready for an afternoon nap after a most enjoyable day.