CheesemakerCorinne Blacket, Owner/Operator (aka The Goat Slave)
We have been manufacturing goat cheese on the Bellarine Peninsula since December 2005. We make a range of cheeses from the high quality milk from our herd of Saanen goats. We are not certified organic, but use permaculture farming principles & adopt ethical animal treatment. Drysdale Cheeses are only available locally, from selected restaurants, providores & our own farmgate. We also conduct cheese making courses at Springdale Community Centre, Drysdale.
How did you get started in in the industry?
We moved to the Bellarine Peninsula in 1990, from Melbourne, and bought a few acres of land. Luckily, we put goats on the land to keep the grass down. Natural curiosity meant that when we started milking the goats, we saw that the wonderful milk was delicious and we had fun making yogurt and cheese for personal use. The rest, as they say, is history…..
Tell us a bit about your cheeses
We make a range of goaty goodies. Pasteurised goat milk; Soft & fresh farmhouse curd cheese; A variation on fetta – either in brine or in flavoured oil; Bellarine blu; Corio Bay aged goat cheese; Halloumi; Yogurt.
What is your favourite part about being a cheesemaker?
There are four main points that make me LOVE being a cheese maker
1.The enormous privilege of working with a herd of noble goats.
2.The historical connection that I have with generations of women who have, traditionally, tended to their animals and produced cheese.
3.The scientific intrigue that accompanies cheese making. I'm finally using all of that microbiology that I studied at Pharmacy College. (Wish I'd paid more attention!)
4.The never ending challenge of producing the very best cheese that I can.
What are the biggest challenges you face in your role?
Herd health is my biggest and most important goal. Can't make good cheese if the milk is less than perfect.
What opportunities do you see for the future of the Australian artisan cheese industry?
The Australian artisan cheese industry is ready to expand into a fabulous future. People need to know where their food comes from, and artisanal cheese is just another step in that process. Get to know your closest cheese maker so that small batch cheese continues to be available. It would be a sorry world if all of our food came from just huge factories overseas.
What does being part of ASCA mean to you?
The connection with like minded producers is invaluable to me. I work, for a lot of the time, in isolation. So, knowing that I am a member of a guild means that I do not work without support.