Cypress Ridge is a property with a garlic farm & holiday cottages located on it within the Granite Belt region of South East Queensland. This almost 100 acre property is operated by Aaron & Bindi Cox along with Aaron's parents Chris & Carole. It is a family operation through & through with even Aaron & Bindi's 2 children helping (Still under debate on how much help that is....) :O
The property was originally a stonefruit orchard in the sixties. When the Cox family purchased the farm in 2008, it was a parsley farm. Then in 2010, due to a water shortage, this was replaced with Garlic.
There was always discussion on what could be made from the farm. It started with the suggestion of Pickled Garlic by Carole while mucking around. Who knew this would grow into a full range of garlic products!
Aaron who had worked as a chef in a number of top restaurants in Brisbane, started thinking about this idea seriously and began played around with ideas while talking to Ian from Australian Vinegars. After much taste testing, the Caramelised Garlic Balsamic Vinegar was bottled & released to the surrounding area.
And it was a hit! The flavours, the sweetness & the numbers of ways it could be used, meant Aaron was now having to do many deliveries around the area.
At the same time, the Australian crushed garlic was released. It was so important to the family, to have Australian garlic and with this product, they found only a quarter of the normal amount of minced garlic was required in their recipes.
Carole perfected her Australian pickled garlic recipe by using some locally made White Chardonnay Balsamic and locally grown herbs as well as a few secret ingredients which ensured that it wasn’t long until the Pickled Garlic became one of the best sellers.
Fast forward to 2017 where the latest products have just come straight out of the kitchen and are now being delivered all over Australia.
The Black garlic started out as an idea Aaron had brewing. He bought a little Pie warmer, a couple of bulbs of garlic and a bit of experimentation for 40 days to see what would happen before building a more permanent and precise fermenting chamber.
The result was unlike he had ever tasted before. The garlic flavour was more subtle, there was a sweetness & a beautiful flavour for cooking with. It was also surprisingly versatile. From pastas, to Antipasto platters – this is something that can be used virtually wherever you would use garlic, but would like a depth of flavour.
The roasted garlic salt involved, started by obviously roasting the garlic, however the difference was the next step where the pink himalayan salt & the lightly roasted garlic are then baked together, so the flavour is really infused into the salt. This is then broken down by hand before placed in the little packets you see.
Meanwhile the smoked garlic salt is smoked over the pecan wood and then mixed with the pink himalayan salt before they are baked together to infuse the flavour. Finally the mix is smoke again to ensure a robust smokiness. Again, this is broken down by hand.
This range is made by a family passionate about food, about living humbly & yet with high expectations of what they do while taking care of their surroundings. It is not very often you see a product that has been taken care of from the inception of the idea to when the parcel leave this farm & heads out beyond the hills, and it so exciting to see this style of business within Australia.