The Dominion Post
So pleased with cheese
Whether it is fancy Wairarapa goat’s milk varieties or classic wheels of aged cheddar from Ka¯piti, New Zealand cheesemakers are showing they can churn out terrifically tasty cheeses.
Lower North Island producers won three of the four supreme categories at the New Zealand Champions of Cheese awards in Hamilton last night.
The supreme winners were made by producers from longestablished brands such as Ka¯piti Cheese, to relatively new players like Nieuwenhuis Farmstead Cheese in Central Hawke’s Bay.
The other two supreme winners were The Drunken Nanny of Martinborough with its Black Tie Petite; and Mahoe Farmhouse Cheese in the Bay of Islands with its very old edam.
The trophies were awarded at a gala dinner that followed the judging of more than 310 cheeses from 35 cheese companies.
Goat’s milk cheeses did particularly well this year with two supreme winners of this type.
Annie and Geoff Nieuwenhuis of Nieuwenhuis Farmstead Cheese have been making and selling their goat cheese from their Hawke’s Bay farm only since 2018.
Their recipes are based on traditional European techniques with a Kiwi twist, including names such as Te Aute and Poukawa Fog that reflect the region where they make their cheeses.
Amanda and Lindsey Goodman of The Drunken Nanny Farm in south Wairarapa said their Black Tie Petite was inspired by a traditional French method of cheesemaking, where the goat’s cheese is rolled in grape vine ash. The competition was held by New Zealand Specialist Cheesemakers Association.
Board chairman Neil Willman said it was encouraging to see the quality and variety of cheeses this year. ‘‘It’s proof of the strength of the New Zealand cheese industry.’’