As I strode from the Market I swung my bag gaily and in my wake I left a foul stench. On the tram a woman checked her baby's nappy thinking that the poor child was creating the malodour that filled the carriage. But I was the culprit. Me, trying to look invisible with a really stinky washed rind cheese in my bag, giving off it's pungent scent of dirty, mouldy bacteria strewn milky deliciousness.
And so I brought home the Millawa King River Gold washed rind cheese from North Eastern Victoria. After hearing mention of it from The Gobbler, I sought it out on our trip to Beechworth, Rutherglen and Albury. Failing to secure myself a piece I went the following week to Queen Victoria Market to procure some.
In spite of the strong smell it was not robust in flavour. I found it pleasant but mild for a washed rind, and after cutting into it I wondered whether it was a little immature as there was no ooze. But on reading up on it, I found that this was the intention as a milder, smooth washed rind.
It was vaguely smokey with a salty finish indicative of the brine it is washed in. On comparison, I much prefer the Barossa Cheese Company's washed rind, being much closer to a Pont L'Eveque in form, crust and texture, not to mention a more pronounced flavour.
I laid it out with some Bum Hummers bought in Albury, for the label boldly pronounced, "1000 farts in a jar". They were crisp, spicy and delicious pickled onions, a great textural balance for the cheese. The two items sat very well with some soft artisanal wood fired bread from Daylesford and a glass of Chambers Amontillado - a very dry sherry in the Spanish style - from Rutherglen which goes down well with Tapas.
Happy as a pig in mud wallowing in fetid stench was I. And proud of the fact that it all was low on food miles and high on ingenuity, passion and care, it left a smug wonderment in all who ate of it.