Summer Land Camels is the home of wild camels from Central Australia providing riding tours on their farm and a range of substitute luxury end dairy products. The popularity of camel milk continues to catch on due to the higher fat and protein content compared to yields from the cow. CEO (pictured), Jeff Flood partnered with Michael Reeves from Pure Artisan Cheese in a year long process of research and development to produce the world’s first camel cheddar.
Alongside the United Kingdom and United States, cheddar is the most consumed in Australia next to mozzarella. Its production quite intricate with the conversion of lactose into lactic acid in the ripening process of cow’s milk. A camel milk based cheddar was always considered an impossibility due to the lower fat and lactose content. This was the challenge Jeff Flood led in his mission to extend his camel product range and pioneer the world’s first high end camel milk cheddar.
Camel milk is approximately four to five times more costly than regular cow’s milk per litre and viewed as a high end product. Higher concentrations of minerals, vitamins, lower cholesterol and unsaturated fats, antibacterial properties sees it becoming more of a popular choice for the health and fitness conscious.
“We were making a cheese that has never been made before ….ever. So, there was no template to work from, no timeline to follow, we were literally making our own history,” describes Michael Reeves, recalling the earlier batches that weren’t the best. He said the flavour of the Camel Cheddar continually evolves as they monitor it through the ageing process. “It began as a very mild cheese, with a delicate and smooth mouthfeel. It’s unique – really different to anything in the world now.”
Summer Land Camels in Harrisville is an hour out of Brisbane where Jeff Flood’s team established a team of experts in traditional cheddar production and using research commission from the University of Queensland developed an approach to camel milk cheddar.
The Camel Cheddar reveal takes place at the Winter Harvest Festival on July 6. Approximately 350kg of camel milk cheddar will be unveilled as part of the Eat Local Week celebrations, one of the world’s most authentic food festivals celebrating local produce, food collaborations and innovation.
Residuals from the cheddar production process saw Summer Land with an abundance of camel whey. It’s considered a a strong natural antioxidant enhancing autoimmunity and increasing glutathione levels which have preventative effects at a cellular level. Incorporating honey from their bee farm, they’ve created a limited batch camel vodka which Eat Local Week fans will also be able to try during the festivities.
“Already 1000 bottles have been exported to China for service in their high-end restaurants. International interest from speciality buyers has been huge,” said Flood with excited over the product due to its uniqueness. The high end vodka also has a whopping price tag of $494 per bottle!
SUMMER LAND CAMEL FARM EAT LOCAL WEEK EVENTS:
Tour & Taste at Summer Land Camels: $20
11am Sunday 30 June, then 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 July
Let Summer Land’s professional cameleers guide you on a behind the scenes tour through Australia’s largest wild camel training centre and dairy operation. Meet the team and find out how they produce the world’s best quality camel milk, cheese, chocolate, gelato and skincare. The tour finishes with a selection of the delicious produce in one of Queensland’s most beautiful settings.
Long Lunch at Summer Land Camels: $90
12pm Sunday 30 June
Experience a long lunch with a difference – an indulgent yet healthy organic feast. Perfect for health-conscious gourmet food lovers, Summer Land Camels’ delicious gluten-free menu will showcase their award-winning ‘dairy alternative’ products and feature locally grown fresh produce. Ticket price includes your very own beautiful Eat Local cookbook to take home.
Little Farmer Humpty Day at Summer Land Camels: $10 / Children under 3 FREE
9am – 2pm Wednesday 3 JulyCome dressed as a farmer! Your children will never forget this exciting and informative experience at Summer Land Camels. Entry includes kids farm tours, bag of feed, patting and cuddling the camels, story time, camel arts and crafts and face painting. Extra activities: kids camel rides $15, junior cameleer experience $5. Food available for purchase all day.
Taste & Make Camel Cheese at Summer Land Camels: $80
1pm Friday 5 July
Meet the head cheese maker at Summer Land Camels and learn the secrets of making the world’s most unique cheeses. Taste our delicious camel milk cheese varieties – many usually only available to the most exclusive restaurants in the world. A truly unique gourmet experience.
Scenic Rim Eat Local Week runs from June 29 through to July 7 and features more than 90 events from Canungra to The Lost World, Beaudesert to Boonah, Tamborine Mountain to Kalbar, Scenic Rim Eat Local Week. It’s the ultimate backstage pass to the farms, wineries and food stories of the region, a celebration that features festivals, farm-gate events and culinary experiences for foodies of all ages. The Scenic Rim is just one hours’ drive from Brisbane.