Raw milk sales in NZ – superfood or super dangerous?

The house looked unremarkable, I checked the address and started up the steps. Like a drug deal in a cop show, I’d already paid the money and this was the pick up. The raw milk pick-up that is. In my quest to learn about cheese I’d gone in search of raw milk – the elusive substance that gives French unpasteurised cheeses their oomph. Being a townie I’d never tasted raw milk, and for most of us it is nearly impossible to get. There are heavy restrictions on its sale and dire health warnings coming from authorities. The sale of raw … Continue reading Raw milk sales in NZ – superfood or super dangerous?

Have you tried Lewis Road Creamery Butter?

If you haven’t tried Lewis Road Creamery butter yet, stop what you are doing. Right now. And go get some. And get some good bread. Make a cuppa, cut a slice, slather it in butter, sit back and savour. Savour a fine New Zealand butter. I can eat this stuff as is, by itself, sans the bread, it is so good. The taste is fresh and light and creamy with a slight lemon lift at the end. Super fine and velvety, it melts satisfyingly on your tongue, lingering long after factory butter has disappeared. You really feel this is cream … Continue reading Have you tried Lewis Road Creamery Butter?

La Latteria, Burrata and Melbourne – Let them eat cheese!

Cupped in my palm, it wobbled like a breast, a Marie Antoinette of a breast, all milky white and delicate. This was Burrata, a filled Mozzarella that Rog and I had trekked across Melbourne to find. I was in cheese geek heaven, for in my possession was a rare and fabled fresh cheese, unseen in Wellington. Another cheese notch on my bed post. I carefully brought it back to the hotel and created a bed of salad ingredients on which to place it. Though I had no olive oil to anoint this lovely treasure, it lay white and prone on … Continue reading La Latteria, Burrata and Melbourne – Let them eat cheese!

Tartiflete – best potato winter warmer ever!

“Cheese people are the best people” says Tony in his cheese-y podcast and he was proved right by the young French Cheesemonger at Moore Wilsons. I was making Tartiflette, the cheeseyist, most delicious potato gratin you have ever tasted, and was asking about rebochon. I couldn’t find this French, washed rind cheese from the Alps and when I explained I was making Tartiflette his eyes lit up! He asked how I was making it and what I was putting it it. Unfortunately they had no reblochon so he suggested I use a raw milk camembert instead of reblochon. He  told … Continue reading Tartiflete – best potato winter warmer ever!

Mt Cargill Tudor- a Southern man of a cheese

Life’s getting better in Wellington, partly because of the cheese mongers who are popping up across town. Last weekend I met Sally from Evansdale cheese. She’s one of the growing band of cheese lovers bringing small-scale, artisan and imported cheeses to the Capital. Alongside our emerging market culture, there’s been a real increase in the range and quality we cheese folks can find. You’ll find Sally every second Saturday at Thorndon’s Hill St Market with her Otago-made Evansdale cheeses. This is an intimate little market where there’s time to stop and talk to the stall holders and even better, time … Continue reading Mt Cargill Tudor- a Southern man of a cheese

Mont d’Or Vacherin – oh how we adore you!

Smearing it on baguette, ladling it on boiled potatoes and spooning it directly into our mouths, my guests were transformed by a ‘fondue’ of Mont d’Or Vacherin on Saturday night. Possessed by its silky velvet, we were turned greedy by this most decadent of cheeses. In its wooden box, spiked with garlic and a slosh of white wine, it had been baked ’til it melted into a most unctuous delight. This is indeed a transformational cheese and from the minute I spied it in Moore Wilsons, the Mont d”Or had been obsessing me. For this is the kind of cheese … Continue reading Mont d’Or Vacherin – oh how we adore you!

Fantastic feta – why so many choices?

Cow or goat, goat or sheep? Brine or in oil, Danish or Greek? Crumbly or smooth, plain, sun-dried tomato or basil? Each time I buy feta there seems to be a new formulation or iteration! So today I’m on a mission to understand this salty-conundrum – what exactly is feta, and what do I need to know to make a good choice? I’ve googled and wikipeidaed, checked my cheese books, and to be called Feta in Europe a cheese needs to be Greek and made of ewes’ milk, though it can have up to 30% goat. In New Zealand it … Continue reading Fantastic feta – why so many choices?