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

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?

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!

Buffalo mozzarella and Insalata Caprese – heady fragrant joy

There is a reverence to the way my friend Kate breaks Mozzarella di Bufala. The same gentleness of hand, sense of purpose you see in a priest breaking bread. For fresh buffalo milk mozzarella is indeed a special cheese and in this post I want to understand why. First of all though you have to banish all memories of those rubbery gourds of commercial mozzarella, vacuum packed and available in the supermarket. The only similarity is that both are stretchy when heated. One is pizza cheese, mild and factory produced, the other is an Italian icon, a national treasure, made … Continue reading Buffalo mozzarella and Insalata Caprese – heady fragrant joy

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!