Don’t you love it when you find a rare and beautiful thing? I stumbled on one recently at Christchurch’s Riverside Market – a Camembert-style sheep’s milk cheese called Camembaa, made by Charing Cross Sheep Dairy.
I’m always on the hunt for a new cheese though I can be a bit leery of Kiwi bloomy rinds aka Camembert or Brie-style cheeses. Their rinds can be tough and cardboardy, their innards rubbery and lifeless.
As soon as I spied the rind on this one I knew I was in for a treat. No cardboard in sight, it was velvety and delicate, with only just enough hold to keep the cheese together. Slicing into it my heart leapt. Its paste, or centre, was glossy and multilayered. This is because bloomy rinds age from the outside so you can see the layers as the mold transforms curd to cheese.
This is a sophisticated and sensuous cheese my friends. Soft and gooey, it is also delicate on the tongue, with a lip-smacking finish that lingers long after the swallow. Perfect, unexpected and well worth a trip to the Riverside market.
Charing Cross Sheep Dairy is owned by Guy and Sue Trafford and has been round for a few years in Christchurch. They make sheep’s milk feta and yoghurt as well as this Camembert-style cheese.
PS you might notice my cheeseboard. It’s made by Critical Design from recycled plastic milk bottles and was a gift from a dear friend. x