A cheesy disappointment

Driving through this part of Victoria I’ve seen a lot of cattle country, with fields alternating largely between Angus and Holstein herds (or beef and dairy cows, for the non-farmers amongst you).

Like a lot of the state I’ve seen already, the rolling hills around here are more than a little reminiscent of parts of the UK and the cows are obviosuly more than happy being raised on a pasture-based system.

Victoria

Producers in this part of the country seem to be a bit better at promoting regional, branded proiduce than in the rest of Australia, and every few kilometres there are signs advertising local dairies and cheeses for sale.

Having consulted my trusty guidebook (which has so far rubbished every place I’ve enjoyed visiting), I stopped off at its reccommendation, Allansford Cheese World.

Cheese World is on the very edge of Warrnambool and sits opposite Warrnambool dairy, which has been producing cheese and other dairy products for over a century.

Having been repeatedly told by other Aussies that farmers in this state have regional food promotion down to a fine art, I was prepared to be blown away by this cheese-based tourist destination. I mean, with such an over-blown name, it had to be amazing, right?

Erm, right.

Cheese World

I’m not entirely sure why the Cheeseworld museum had a load of old furniture in it, why the giftshop sold a range of dairy-free biscuits or why there was no mention of cheese production, cows or the region’s dairy industry in the place.

It’s a shame that having gone to all the effort of promoting the place with fancy signage, flags and a huge building that the content was so dodgy. I doubt anyone visiting the place would have come away thinking they had been taught anything about cheese-making, or that they’d particularly want to call in to another cheese-making enterprise again.

To promote brands and regionality obviously requires a huge investment of time, effort and capital, and for me places like this raise questions over whether it’s worth doing at all if it’s not done properly. It’s certainly making me rethink my criticsms over Aussie farmers and their poor use of regional branding anyway.

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