Otago Daily Times
Kiwis becoming more adventurous with choice of cheese
IT is New Zealand Cheese Month and the country’s love of the dairy product has grown this year.
While Kiwis’ love of good old tasty and edam cheese remains strong, people are just as likely to put a packet of halloumi, havarti or gouda in their weekly shop these days.
New Zealanders are becoming more adventurous in their selection of cheeses, Featherston’s C’est Cheese Artisan Cheese and Deli owner and winner of the 2019
Favourite NZ Cheese Shopping Experience Paul Broughton says.
He has noticed a definite change in the way their customers choose cheese.
‘‘We’re seeing many of our customers trying styles of cheese that they previously might not have considered — they’re more adventurous in their selections.’’
Including cheese in cooking is also on the increase. It’s not uncommon to have people come into his shop clutching a recipe that requires a specialist cheese as a key ingredient.
‘‘Pleasingly, most if not all such cheeses can invariably be sourced from our own expert NZ cheesemakers.”
Another big change is the demand for locally made product.
‘‘As people spend more time travelling around their country they’re beginning to appreciate and connect with New Zealand’s vibrant community of artisan cheesemakers. This is resulting in ongoing purchasing of locally made cheeses as well as a heightened understanding of the many different types of cheese made here.’’
Broughton’s comments are backed up by the sales figures with Neilson finding cheese is experiencing record sales. For the 12 months to August the total value of all cheese sales was up 12.2%, including a 9.5% increase in speciality cheese , a 14.5% increase in blocks of cheese and a 25.1% increase in grated cheese.
New Zealand Speciality Cheesemakers Association chairman Neil Willman says cheesemakers are delighted with the support they are receiving from Kiwis who are trying to buy local when they can.
To celebrate New Zealand Cheese Month the association has launched a new website www.cheeseloversnz.co.nz so people can find their local cheesemakers, get tips on storing and serving cheese and recipes for cooking with it.
They are also calling for cheese lovers to vote for their favourite cheese company this month on the website.
Food writer Kathy Paterson is a contributor to the new website and she suggests choosing a selection of tasty and a soft cheese like gouda, brie or camembert, bake some homemade oat biscuits, flatbread or crackers and serve on a wooden platter with Barker’s new Fruit for Cheese Black Cherry & Pinot Noir, seasonal fresh fruit and walnuts.