Photo by Co-Lab Pantry
Breakfast with Meredith Dairy
By Tehya Nicholas
As a crew of Melbourne-based foodies, we’ve been wondering for some time now; what is the ultimate breakfast? Some would say we’re spoiled down here for a ripper brunch, and others would say you’ll never own a house if you keep dropping coin on avo smash… But we think of a great breakfast as an investment in your day, your life, your wellbeing.
If you’ve been anywhere in Melbourne for brunch, then you’ve definitely dropped in on the cult of Meredith Dairy goat cheese. A little av smash, a little roasted mushrooms - the stuff takes any breakfast meal to the next level. So we thought if there’s anyone who could help us take home brekky-prep to outer space, it would be these guys. Here’s the 411 on breakfast with Meredith Dairy.
Meredith Dairy seems to pop up on every respectable Melbourne cafe’s breakfast menu. Why is that?
Melbourne loves Meredith Dairy. Our goat cheese is made each day using fresh milk from our farm. This makes our goat cheese consistent, extremely high quality as well as socially and environmentally sustainable. Fresh goat cheese is versatile and pairs well with many breakfast ingredients such as eggs, avocado, tomato and herbs.
We’re all about a quick, easy and healthy breakfast that’s equally as delicious. What cheese would you recommend?
Our Marinated Goat Cheese is perfect for a quick and easy breakfast due to the pre-infused balance of salt, black peppercorns, fresh thyme and garlic olive oil. We use high quality Australian ingredients and infuse our olive oil blend with fresh garlic in-house, so it’s hitting the healthy mark too. Even the novice home cook can create mouth-watering, gourmet breakfast items with a cube or two of marinated goat cheese. Our tip is to drizzle the garlic oil over the cheese to retain the balance of flavours.
The avocado smash is a classic pairing for your goat cheese. Do you have a favourite recipe?
Our go-to recipe is pretty simple. Combine two cubes of Marinated Goat Cheese to your avocado, add the garlic oil from the jar as well as lemon juice, and salt and pepper to taste. Spread the avo smash generously to crusty sourdough and then add the dukkah on top.
Goat cheese has really taken over from feta as number one cheese in brekky food. Any theories as to why?
Fresh goat cheese differs from feta in several ways. Feta contains less moisture, giving it a squeaky or crumbly texture instead of the soft, spreadable texture of fresh goat cheese. For this reason fresh goat cheese retains more of the milk flavour, therefore; high quality milk makes high quality fresh goat cheese. Feta is often more salty too, as it is preserved in brine rather than garlic olive oil.
In the 90s, Meredith Dairy made both a goat and sheep milk feta. Feta is often made because it can be preserved for up to 12 months in brine, which allows milk to be processed into cheese during slow sales periods. These days we can make cheese fast enough, so we no longer make traditional feta.
We suppose it comes down to preference. Marinated goat cheese is more creamy, has a softer texture and is complimented perfectly with its garlic, thyme and black pepper marinade.
Goat cheese pairs beautifully with both savoury and sweet food. Do you have any recommended sweet breakfast dishes?
A great summer recipe is a watermelon salad with fresh mint and marinated goat cheese. This salad is fresh and satisfying.
Goat cheese is often used in baking and desserts, especially Meredith Dairy goat cheese due to its clean (non-goaty) taste, resulting from our incredibly fresh and high quality milk. We have a great recipe for a Pear and Walnut Tartine using Marinated Goat Cheese.
A little known way to enjoy goat cheese is to create a ‘whipped goat cheese’. This is simply achieved by adding a splash of heavy cream to goat cheese before combining (whipping) it into a spreadable dip. Whipped goat cheese is a blank canvas for all kinds of sweet and savoury combinations, such as ‘honey and cinnamon’, ‘lemon and strawberry’, ‘orange zest and pistachio’ and ‘wild berry compote’. The only limitation is your own creativity.
How long does a pot of your iconic Marinated Goat Cheese keep in the fridge?
Although our marinated goat cheese is a fresh cheese, we are able to give it an 8 month shelf life (best before) from made-on date. This is because the cheese is under oil, which keeps oxygen and other contaminants away from the cheese. The glass jar and metal lid also create a near perfect seal, further reducing the ‘oxidation’ of the cheese and oil.
After the jar is opened, the shelf life is reduced, although as long as the cheese is kept submerged under oil, and a clean spoon is used to remove the cheese, the cheese should stay fresh for several weeks or even months after opening.
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