Dairy lovers and haters alike may have found common ground in an unusual product – camel milk.
QCamel, a Queensland dairy owned and run by ex-Illawarra woman Lauren Brisbane is challenging the dairy industry with its unusual products and alternative approach to milking practices.
The dairy is nestled at the foot of the Glasshouse Mountains in Queensland, and focuses on ethics and sustainability.
“Each camel is like family to us, so we treat them with utmost care,” said Ms Brisbane.
“It’s about honouring who they are and we have them for a very long time. You can milk a camel until they’re 30. We know them all by name.”
In addition to this, the company is currently undergoing a nine month process to become organically certified.
“Our processes are all already completely organic and ethical, but there’s a few competitors coming up in the market and we want to make sure we stand out as high quality and ethical.” said Ms Brisbane.
The ‘superfood’ is a relatively new thing in Australia, but studies have already began to emerge, reporting a range of health benefits for autism, diabetes and dairy intolerance among others.
“It’s the oldest milk on the planet,” said Ms Brisbane.
“They’ve been drinking it in the Middle East for hundreds of years and they’ve known how healthy it makes them.”
Lauren Brisbane’s daughter, Yasmin, says that health problems run in the family, and that drinking camel milk has given both her and her grandmother (Mary Ackerman, who lives in the Illawarra) enormous relief.
“Grandma refused to take it, so Grandpa would sneak it into her tea. He confessed when she told him she was feeling better. Now she’s a convert.”
Camel milk enthusiasts describe the milk as having a slight salty taste, which disappears after the first sip.
“It’s crisp, it’s clean, it’s beautiful,” said Ms Brisbane.
““We do smoothies too. It took me a year to get that right. I drive everybody insane, we only use the highest quality food, it has to be the best.”
And here’s one for hump day, QCamel will soon be diversifying their product again, introducing a Swiss chocolate range later this year.
The treats will consist of a premium chocolate shell, filled with a camel milk praline in three flavours.
In 2014 the Brisbane family became the first in Australia to produce camel milk commercially, and since then have gained customers all over the country as well as international buyers.
The milk and smoothies can be purchased at David Jones in Wollongong.