A "Sensory Milk Flight" by Culinary Icons with Anchor Milk
Milk. We love it. Preferably full cream. Fresh, from a top notch farm, and safe. Great milk has nuances including natural sugar and can be savoured. The World Loves Melbourne was invited to an amazing evening to showcase Anchor milk with top Melbourne chef Daniel Wilson and The Town Mouse and Embla's Christian McCabe at Milk the Cow fromagerie in Lygon Street.
The night was billed as "Prepare to experience milk like never before" with a brief given to Christian McCabe and Daniel Wilson to present an innovative five course ‘flight’ menu. We're huge fans of both chefs and their restaurants; surely both are at the top of their game and luminaries in Melbourne. There's a saying that "milk is milk"; a commodity product you have on cereal or tea and coffee but not something to be savoured and enjoyed, like other top shelf products.
Collaboration between two of Australia's foremost gastronomic identities was about changing that perception. Daniel Wilson and Christian McCabe have joined forces to redefine Australia's perception of milk during the launch of Australia's first finely filtered milk.
Do you have "milk memories"? The World Loves Melbourne remembers as a kid drinking milk from the traditional bottle with delicious creaminess (and layer of cream on top). We remember adding chocolate to milk, making eggnog, enjoying milk with cereal and even just imbibing huge glasses of fresh milk after school. The Anchor Sensory Milk Flight evoked those childhood memories of milk how it should be. Creamy. Fresh. Clean taste with that natural sweetness.
"Milk has a complex make up of fats, sugar proteins and umami which is what makes it so delicious," Christian 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."
Anchor milk is the only milk filtered, for a finer taste. Microfiltration is the key. In an Australian first, Anchor uses a ceramic filter to remove 95% of the unwanted bacteria that naturally occurs in milk, while keeping the natural goodness and fresh taste.
Pasteurisation removes about 90% of bacteria; but the microfiltration process addresses the other 10% to remove more of the unwanted bacteria in milk while still keeping the milk fresh. No additives or preservatives are added to Anchor milk. The process of removing extra bacteria allows Anchor milk to remain fresh for longer; with an amazing shelf life of 21 days (normal pasteurised milk has a shelf life of 15 days).
Said Christian McCabe, "Anchor is definitely a step-up in taste from regular milk. It's a medium structure with quite a lot of richness on the attack and the finish is really clean, grassy and refreshing with distinctly no after-taste."
We began the night with a delicious, refreshing and sophisticated cocktail of Chilled green tea with marigold, citrus and Japanese sake.
Daniel Wilson cooked up a brilliant Flight 1 dish of Spicy, salty, and sweet tastes, matched with Anchor milk, 3 ways. Who would have thought Anchor Milk would be paired with an Oyster, jalapeno croquette and a milk bottle candy? Or infused with bonito? The dish showed the versatility of Anchor milk.
Daniel Wilson was again innovative with the Flight 2 dish of Fresh ricotta, heirloom tomatoes paired with Anchor milk, chilled.
Daniel told us he loves making ricotta. Especially with milk that tastes how he remembers it when growing up. Daniel told us that Anchor Milk was perfect for making fresh ricotta. The World Loves Melbourne loved this zesty dish with the creamy ricotta being the standout; as well as the seasonal delight of the heirloom tomatoes. The Anchor milk was infused with umami flavours and combined wonderfully with the dish (umami flavours are present in milk).
The Sensory Milk Flight was all about diversity. Flight 3 excited with Crispy kale chip, cashew hummus paired with Anchor Milk chilled. This dish had real kick! The cashew hummus was tangy with heat, combined perfectly with the crispy kale chip for texture and taste balance. The chilled milk brought back those "milk memories" in its pure state, but also combined wonderfully to balance the heat of the dish. Christian enjoys drinking milk from ceramic, and so we enjoyed our milk served in ceramic cups.
A highlight of the night was Flight 4 featuring Spiced milk roasted pork belly, cauliflower puree with Anchor milk, infused.
Daniel Wilson explained how he crisps up the pork skin first because you must have crackling for your dish! He infused the milk with nutmeg and other spices then braised the pork, cooking it for 2 hours until it was tender. How good was this? Braising pork with the natural sweetness of Anchor milk! Amazingly the milk was infused with herbs for a delightful herbaceous hit; but as Christian McCabe explained, milk has wonderful grassy characteristics for obvious reasons. A perfect match.
Flight 5 came as a surprise; Crispy and chewy chocolate cookie with Anchor milk, adult-style.
The adult milk was so compelling; we had to get ourselves another drink. Christina McCabe told us some of the ingredients added to the milk including Liqueur, Vodka, and Rum plus vanilla and cream. It packed punch but wasn't overpowering. Some of us at our table felt this could be a great Christmas drink.
The Cookie also brought back childhood memories; cookies and cream has always been a hit in our home. Chewy and indulgent with crisp on the edges; the cookie featured 70% cocoa chocolate and loads of butter and cream. How we like it!
The World Loves Melbourne was also appreciative of our gift pack at the end of the night including Anchor milk and more of those ceramics!
The World Loves Melbourne loved the Sensory Milk Flight featuring Anchor milk as fun, playful, innovative, distinctive and a stylish event. The result? A very grown up milk flight that accentuates the natural components of milk in five different ways to reignite our imagination about this staple product, with dishes that can be prepared and enjoyed at home for something wholesome, delicious and special for the whole family.