DICK Schroder's gentle, doe-eyed Jersey cows are happily luxuriating in the lush pastures of his Gilldora dairy farm, oblivious to the fact their creamy milk is being converted into gourmet Fromart cheese.
The milk from this contented mob is already well known among Gympie residents who buy the 100 per cent local Cooloola Milk products.
But you may not know that award-winning cheesemaker Christian Nobel is creating a range of boutique cheeses made exclusively of Dick's Jersey milk.
The Eudlo cheesemaker combines the traditional Swiss recipes and techniques of his country of birth with the Gympie milk to produce an assortment of handmade cheeses which he markets only at farmer's markets and online.
So, why Jersey milk and why Gympie Jersey milk in particular?
“They make the most fantastic raw material for my product,” Christian said simply. While Jersey milk is well known for its richness, containing more protein, calcium, butterfat, vitamins A, B1 and B2 than conventional milk, there is an elusive component that Christian admits is difficult to define.
“It's hard to describe,” he said. “Something you feel… good milk is one thing – the farmer, that's the big bonus – how the farmer treats his cows, how he feeds them, how clean his farm is…”
“People think you can use any kind of milk to make cheese – to make great cheese you need a great raw product.”
Christian recalled when he first walked onto Schroder's farm unannounced, the dairy farmer was immediately open to his requests.
“The farmer is really important to me – without a good farmer then there is no cheese.”
Fromart's most popular cheese made from Gympie's Jersey milk is Devils Foot. “Maybe with a glass of white,” Christian recommended.
Gympie region people can order online at www.fromart.com.au.