I love milk, but I have never heard of a dinner paired with milk before (wine and beer definitely yes, but never milk). The closest I have got to a milk pairing is a big glass of creamy milk with a chocolate chip cookie just before bed, especially when I can’t sleep. But it’s a rare occasion I drink it “neat”, opting it in my coffee and tea or on the top of my muesli in the morning.
A couple of weeks ago I had the pleasure of celebrating milk in its purest form with a specially designed milk flight with Melbourne chefs Daniel Wilson (Huxtable) and Christian McCabe (The Town Mouse and Embla) at Milk the Cow in Carlton, an event aimed to redefine Australia’s perception of milk.
There’s a saying that “milk is milk” but Anchor Milk certainly isn’t your average milk. It is Australia’s first finely filtered milk, using a unique ceramic filtration technology to remove 95% of the unwanted bacteria, while keeping the natural goodness and fresh clean taste. This unique technology delivers a milk that is pure and fresher tasting, right until the last drop. No additives or preservatives here.
This was definitely not an event for lactose intolerants, as Wilson and McCabe designed an Anchor Milk flight menu, which comprised fun and innovative food pairings, from oysters and pork belly to chocolate chip cookies.
It was great to chat to the team behind Anchor Milk and find out more about their tricks of the trade. There wasn’t a glass of wine in sight, with bottles of wine being replaced with plenty of milk jugs, bottles and ceramic cups. McCabe and Wilson both spoke with passion about Anchor Milk’s unique taste and nutritional benefits.
“Milk has a complex make up of fats, lactose, protein and umami which is what makes it so delicious,” McCabe explained. “We wanted to explore how these components in Anchor Milk could be accentuated or framed to compliment less obvious foods, in a gastronomic way.”
Our milk flight commenced with a natural oyster, jalapeno croquette and milk bottle candy, which combined a gorgeous contrast between salty, sweet and spicy flavours. The starter was paired with Anchor Milk served three ways – chilled, room temperature and slightly heated. The milk tasted really clean and fresh, and surprisingly refreshing on the palate. The chilled milk is definitely still a winner in my book.
A salad of fresh ricotta and heirloom tomatoes was the feature of Flight Two, finished with fresh basil leaves, charcoal salt flakes and a generous drizzle of olive oil. Anchor finely filtered milk was the perfect accomplice for the ricotta, giving it a fresh, clean flavour. Although, I have to admit, I wasn’t a huge fan of the seaweed, bonito and shitake mushroom infusion.
Flight three highlighted a crispy kale chip, cashew hummus paired with a chilled glass of Anchor Milk in a ceramic cup. The dish had a great depth of flavour and I loved the texture of the kale chips. Made with raw cashew nuts, smoked paprika, chilli powder, garlic and lemon the cashew hummus had a lovely heat, which complemented the milk beautifully.
My personal favourite was Flight Four, which highlighted a spiced milk roasted pork belly infused with Anchor Milk. The pork belly was succulent and tender with an amazing crackling. I have never thought to cook pork in milk before but it gives it a lovely subtle creamy flavour. A bed of cauliflower puree was the perfect pair to really bring out the flavours of the milk and pork.
The final course couldn’t be more fitting. Whenever I can’t sleep, I always bring a chocolate chip cookie and a glass of milk to bed and try to relax with a good book. We were served a crispy and chewy chocolate cookie (adult style) packed full of dark chocolate chips and buttery goodness. This was paired with a devilishly good “adult-style” milk infused with Żubrówka, Vodka, chocolate liqueur and vanilla. What better way to finish a milky evening!
Anchor Finely Filtered Milk range is now available from Woolworths’ supermarkets across Victoria only. For more information visit www.anchordairy.com.au.
To view the Anchor milk flight menu plus recipes and a video of McCabe and Wilson creating the menu visit www.anchordairy.com.au/milk-redefined
Thank you to Keep Left PR and Anchor Milk for inviting me as a guest to this event.