Cheese rolls – a South Island tradition

Cheese rolls are one of New Zealand’s few regional food specialities. They ignite nostalgia in Mainlanders living up north, are a fund raising stalwart in Southland/Otago, and a source of fascination for this cheese obsessed North Islander. Sheltering from a wet Autumnal day I spotted some in the basement café of a posho department store in Christchurch last week, and was inspired to find out more about this uniquely South Island treat. Te Waipounamu tell us your secrets! A cheese roll, for the uninitiated, is a pre-prepared cheese mixture spread on thin white bread, rolled up and toasted under a … Continue reading Cheese rolls – a South Island tradition

5 tips for simple, stylish cheeseboards

Do you get stuck choosing cheese? Follow my 5 tips for a stylish cheeseboard and banish the rabbit in headlights look next time you’re at a cheese counter.  A couple of well-chosen cheeses, an easy wine and some quality bread – superb! Today’s board, through simple, was a great reward after working hard in the garden. The ivory white cheese is Cilantro’s Billy the Kid Goat Cheddar, the orange-blue Talbot Forest’s Waihi Blue. Cilantro Artisan cheese from Hamilton Talbot Forest from Geraldine My 5 top tips to easy cheeseboard 1. Choose contrasting colours, shapes or textures.  I paired fruity, hard … Continue reading 5 tips for simple, stylish cheeseboards

Gruff Junction Darfield – perfect cheese for summer

Bone white, with a layer of black ash, Gruff Junction’s Darfield is perfect for languid summer days when I hanker for young, light cheeses. Paired with a Sauvignon Blanc I want something to serve in the lead up to a barbeque, rather than at the end of a feast. This is when goat’s cheeses come into their own. And Gruff Junction make some of the best I’ve tasted. Their Darfield is a sexy cheese for summer. The pyramid square of bloomy rind opens up to reveal a dramatic seismic line. Named after the town at the epicentre of the September … Continue reading Gruff Junction Darfield – perfect cheese for summer

J Friend and Co – from the land of cheese and honey

I love interactive food – food that asks you to savour and share and describe. Food that is not just content to be, but that asks you, and those around you, to discuss its being. It’s why I love doing tastings and the J Friend and Co’s Cheese Pairing Honey Collection is, literally, the bees’ knees for a DIY cheese tasting. J Friend and Co Three glorious, oozy pots of honey, dripping golden delight onto slabs and slices and smears of cheese. This is a great concept. Get a goats, a blue and a Brie, a pack of J … Continue reading J Friend and Co – from the land of cheese and honey

Classic ’70’s Cheese Ball – my nostalgic Christmas nibble

Christmas is a time for nostalgia and when I want a cheese redolent of Christmases past, it’s not Stilton or vintage Cheddar I hanker for, but my Mum’s classic ’70’s Cheese Ball. This is the cheesey taste of Christmas to me. Rolled in walnuts, paired with Snax biscuits, and a glass of something bubbly, it’s a perfect Noel nibble. Just right for my Christmas barbie last week. My Mum’s recipe uses processed cheese and, to my dismay, I couldn’t find blocks of Chesdale in the supermarket. I was so concerned I rang Goodman Fielder and was told by a customer service … Continue reading Classic ’70’s Cheese Ball – my nostalgic Christmas nibble

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?

Beautiful Brie – raw versus pasteurised?

  With their velvety outers barely containing their silky centres, both Bries were sexy. I was pitting a French raw milk Brie de Meaux against a Whitestone Lindis Pass Brie to answer the cheesey conundrum – raw or pasteurised cheese? I wanted to understand the difference because they both look the same. The same chalky rind, the same oozy centre. I wanted to know is it worth the fuss and the double price tag? Back to the basics – pasteurised or raw Most of the cheeses we eat are made from pasteurised milk which has been heated up to 75° C (167° F) … Continue reading Beautiful Brie – raw versus pasteurised?

Cheese canapés for cocktail parties

Ah cheesey friends I have been in a conundrum, a cheese conundrum – what does a curd nerd to take to a cocktail party? I couldn’t recall 007 eating anything with his Martini and Audrey Hepburn certainly just seemed to smoke. But I wanted to make some sophisticated cheese canapés to hand around. A bit of research later and a whole new world opened up. So over the next few weeks I’ll share a few easy canapés to grace any cocktail party. Cocktails are intense with strong flavours, so I wanted canapés that could stand up to high alchohol beverages. I … Continue reading Cheese canapés for cocktail parties