It may have been its clever, quirky name that first drew attention to Lard Ass, but these days the name is synonymous with outstanding cultured butter and other fermented dairy products – using locally sourced ingredients.
When now chief butter maker at Lard Ass, Monica Cavarsan, took up the challenge of making great-tasting cultured butter, she followed up a cheese course and ‘book learning’ with a trip to Wisconsin in the US to learn the arcane art of butter-making.
Monica clearly absorbed a lot because Lard Ass products are now keenly sought by top chefs and quality-loving home cooks alike. She tells here just why her team’s products have taken the market by storm.
“For starters, we give our customers the chance to enjoy butter that actually tastes like butter,” says Monica, the daughter of an Italian dairy farmer. “We produce small-batch churned butter, handcrafted and fermented using natural cultures.
“We even hand-wrap each unit. That’s a lot considering we make more than 700 kilograms of butter a week.”
She has nothing but praise for her crew, each of whom is passionate about the product they make.
“They are experts at each step of the process. Through sight, smell and taste, they know the recipe of our cultured butter to ensure the consistency and quality of every batch going out to our customers.
“It’s their passion and drive that contributes to making the butter such as great product.”
Speaking of passion, Monica’s stays as fresh as the day Lard Ass launched just before Christmas three years ago.
“I love making butter! Each morning I’m eager to get into the factory and see what each batch of cream brings to the churn. Some things we can control, like temperature and pH. Other things we can’t, like the season and feed of cows. No two batches are ever the same.
“That’s the beauty of a handcrafted product.”
Monica has short and long-term plans for Lard Ass.
“We’re preparing to open up our factory up to the public soon.
“And once Melburnians comes back to our region, we are keen to welcome them to our factory and buy direct from us. Of course, this is an invitation extended to our local and regional communities as well.
“Lard Ass’s future hopefully brings a purpose-built creamery operating as a dairy food manufacturer and experiential visitor facility on the Bellarine Peninsula.
“Like a chocolaterie but for butter!”
Lard Ass Butter, 10 Sykes Place, Ocean Grove. Opens 8am-4pm Monday-Friday. Inquiries: 0400 720 113 or visit www.lardass.com.au