St. Patrick’s Day is a great time to be an Irish person abroad. I spent the day on the opposite side of the world, which one might imagine would be isolating and could lead to feeling homesick – but the complete opposite is true. In Australia Paddy’s Day has become synonymous with all-things-Ireland and the multitude of events and celebrations throughout the country would instill a sense of pride and nationalism in even our most disconnected countrymen. Having made it through the celebrations I feel more Irish now than ever before.
Throughout the world people have this image of Ireland as a green country; full of open pastures and populated by rural, country villages – and certainly we view ourselves as a dairy nation… However, despite all this, we have yet to establish our deserved reputation as expert cheese-makers. Since the rise of farmhouse cheeses in the late 1970s, Irish cheeses have been well recognised at international competitions and many of our cheeses continue to win awards to this day. But in comparison to lots of our European neighbours we are relatively young and as a result many cheese-lovers in Australia haven’t heard of our wonderful cheeses, let alone tried them!
I went to a Tourism Ireland lunch in the week leading up to Paddy’s Day and they played this video. I loved everything about it, it instantly made me want to come home – but then I remembered one of the best parts of my job here: being an ambassador for our country and showcasing Irish cheese abroad. It’s such a pleasure to watch people’s reaction as their mouth fills with the creaminess of our Cashel Blue®, listening as they attempt to identify the subtle grassy notes of our elegant Crozier Blue – it truly makes me proud to be Irish. I like to think that I’m a bit of a bridge between our farms back home and the everyday Australian’s dining table: I get to tell a story that I’m passionate about, subvert expectations, introduce people to the unique flavours of Ireland’s countryside and help build our fledgling reputation as high quality cheese-makers on the international stage. It’s pretty amazing.
This St. Patrick’s Day I was proud to be an Irishman abroad and watched with joy as cheese-lovers throughout Australia celebrated in style.
Enterprise Ireland Australia – St. Patrick’s Day lunches Sydney and Melbourne
New South Wales
The Artisan Cheese Room – A beautiful new cheese shop in Manly: Paul and the team will be showcasing some of Ireland’s finest farmhouse cheeses, including some from Carrigbyrne Farmhouse Milleens Cheese
Danks Street Cheese Affineurs – Drop into the incredible Danks Street Produce Merchants market this weekend and swing by Penny’s gorgeous shop, where she’ll be able to tell you all about our wonderful blues and may even have some wonderful St. Killian from Carrigbyrne Farmhouse on the tasting table.
The Stinking Bishops – Why not sit in and add some Irish cheese to your taster board at this wonderful cheese restaurant in the heart of Newtown? Where this St. Patrick’s Day they’ve some special treats on the menu?
Formaggi Ocello – No Sydney cheese list would be complete without a mention of this well-stocked gem located just outside of the CBD in vibrant Surry Hills. Run by husband-and-wife team Carmelo and Sogna, the counter boasts one of the fullest Irish cheese ranges in the country.
Our own JD Hugh will be flying the flag for all things Irish this Saturday: Blackwattle Deli from 11.00-13.00 and then running over to Fourth Village Providore in Mosman from 14.00-17.00. Should be some craic!
And if week day evenings are more your scene, watch this space and there may be a surprise in the pipeline with Creek & Cella coming next Thursday 18.00-20.00…
Little Sister Delicatessen – A wonderful shop in Perth who are opening their doors to a magnificent selection of Irish farmhouse cheeses previously unavailable! There range will include our Cashel Blue and Crozier Blue, some St. Killian (Carrigbyrne Farmhouse), Croagh Patrick Cheddar (The Little Milk Company), Durrus Cheese and Milleens Cheese.
Little Cheese Shop – This specialty store sources the finest cheese from around the world and we’re delighted to say that our blues feature on that list!
You’re spoilt for choice with events in Western Australia this Paddy’s Day, with a whole heap of tastings scheduled to take place!
- The Good Grocer 10/03/17 12-2pm
- Sisters SUPA IGA 16/03/17 11:30-1:30pm
- Wembley IGA 17/03/17 12-2pm
- Shenton Park IGA 24/03/17 12-2pm
Milk the Cow – Two of Melbourne’s most iconic cheese venues, the Carlton branch hosted their own Irish whiskey and cheese event on St. Patrick’s Day eve with Teeling Whiskey – a sensational evening that has set the fromagerie up perfectly to showcase their great range of Irish cheeses over the course of the celebrations.
Boccaccio Cellars – Bernard’sa great wealth of experience is matched only by the team’s enthusiasm – the store has a magnificent range of cheeses available and will be tasting through their Irish selection on Saturday from 11.00-13.00.
Harper & Blohm Cheese Shop – Olivia is one of the nicest and most knowledgeable cheesemongers around and her credentials for a St. Patrick’s Day celebration are off the charts, having lived on the island and previously worked for Sheridans Cheesemongers. Their shop is a real hidden wonder, located on the outskirts of Essenden and they’ve got some great plans in the pipeline for the holiday.
McCoppins Hawthorn – Ben and the team are so much fun, creating a constant buzz and excitement around the shop – be sure to pop in, say hi and try some of our cheese while you’re there
Shifty Chevre – A wonderful cheese bar and cafe in Fitzroy; perfect for those hoping to discover something new. This weekend featuring some fine Irish cheeses on their cheeseboard and offering $5 happy hour drinks on the night of St. Patrick’s Day itself!
The Smelly Cheese Shop – Last, but certainly not least, is one of the finest cheese spots on the whole continent! Smelly is located in the incredible Adelaide Central Market – be sure to allow yourself time for this one because you’ll want to spend the whole day wandering around the different stalls, soaking up the atmosphere, taking in the smells of the fresh produce and of course sampling all the delicious cheese. Each member of the team really knows their stuff and I can think of no better people to bridge the gap between Irish farms and Australian stomachs, to tell our stories and to recommend the cheese that will be right for you.