Arguments aside as to who lays claim to creating the famous pavlova recipe, there’s no debating it’s a family favourite for millions of people.
Meet Danyel Cucinotta, a Werribee South farmer who provides the eggs used to create this delicious treat.
Q: Why did you become a farmer?
I didn’t intentionally become a farmer, if anything, I made conscious decisions not to become a farmer at school.
After completing university and a few casual jobs I realised working with my family on the farm was exactly what I wanted to do.
After that, my Sister and I both agreed to work together and continue as third generation egg farmers
I became a farmer because I couldn’t imagine not working side-by-side with my Sister.
Q: Did you grow up dreaming of having your own farm?
I grew up loving the farm, but not the farm work.
School holidays, sick days and weekends were spent on the farm.
However, when I look back, I am thankful for the joys I had growing up with my family on the farm.
Q: If you weren’t a farmer what would you be?
If I wasn’t a farmer I’d be in events and hospitality. I love large celebrations such as weddings and would have pushed for a career in events.
Q: What makes your product so special?
We are one of the last white egg commercial producers in Australia so that makes it pretty special.
White shelled eggs are rare due to the lack of breeds available in Australia. The majority of commercial egg producers either house a hyline brown or Isa Brown bird due to its calmer nature and consumer perception and demand.
We however; keep white birds which lay a white egg (the scientific reason is a bird with brown earlobes lays brown eggs and birds with white earlobes lay white eggs, but the feathers generally match) as our niche customers prefer a white shelled egg.
Our busiest time of the year is Orthodox Easter as they like to dye and paint eggs for Easter.
Ideally an egg is an egg and the shell doesn’t change anything. The taste of an egg is determined by feed, not production system or breed.
Q: What’s your farm doing to combat climate change?
We have solar power and recycle our waste product and turn it into fertiliser for neighbouring farms.
How do you utilise technology on the farm?
We have an integrated software system that allows us to collate and interpret our data for each flock.
Mortality, production rate, water/ energy use and feed conversion are just some of the data we collect through the technology implemented.
We also have an automatic Anaconda system with the press of a button we are able to collect and grade eggs straight from the shed into a carton without anyone handling an egg.
Q: What is your favourite recipe featuring your eggs?
My favourite egg recipe is my Mum’s Pavlova. I won’t lie, I can’t recreate this dish, so if I was cooking, it would definitely be scrambled eggs, bacon and cheese in a bagel!
Q: How do we get our hands on your products?
We are fortunate enough to be situated in Werribee South in a tourist hot spot across from the Werribee Zoo and Mansion. This allows us to sell direct to our consumers through our onsite farm deli.
We also sell to local butchers, fruit shops, cafés, restaurants and bakeries.