Secrets to a great cheese board – Shape, texture, progression (Part 1)

“I’m still fizzing about the Roquefort and Sauterne,” giggled my friend Kate after we’d devoured two cheese boards based on selecting, presenting and wine matching tips from my favourite cheese-onistas Fiona Beckett and Max McCalman. They were superb!  So in my next few posts I’ll share their wisdom with you. This post is on selecting cheese, the next on presenting and the final on wine matching. Part 1 Choosing cheeses – shape, texture, progression There are three things they say to remember when choosing cheese: shape, texture, and a progression of tastes. So I started with one cheese, an anchor … Continue reading Secrets to a great cheese board – Shape, texture, progression (Part 1)

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?

Wine and cheese tastings

Last night was the first time I added wine to my cheese board at Cheesy Bookclub and  the girls loved it! I’d tried a cheese and wine combo before inspired by Fiona Beckett’s post on her Cheeselover blog and wanted to share the revelation. Her pairing of Gewurtz, Munster and cumin seeds a) made me feel like a true cheese person, and b) was a sublime combination. A new turn on my journey as a cheese nerd – wine and cheese. But if I had a strong cheese to eat at the end of a cheese tasting, what would go … Continue reading Wine and cheese tastings

Goat versus cow – Over the moon

I was in the garden today when my friend Jenny bought in a pressie – two Over the Moon camemberts – one goat, one Jersey cow. And like me last week, she’d had a great cheese tasting experience. She’d been traveling down from Auckland and had stopped in at Over the Moon’s shop in Putararu. Over the Moon is boutique cheesemaking company in the heart of the Waikato.  Jenny ended up in their tasting room where, in her words, a lady sliced cheese after cheese for her to sample. She said she only went in to go to the bathroom! We … Continue reading Goat versus cow – Over the moon