Cheers for cheese
As I write this, over two tonnes of New Zealand cheese varieties are being plugged, sniffed, fingered, bent, chewed and judged by eight overseas cheese experts as well as 26 local specialists. Australian-based Master Judge Russell Smith believes it provides an incredible opportunity to showcase New Zealand to the world.
The 2017 New Zealand Champions of Cheese Awards has attracted more than 350 entries across 23 categories. In recent years, New Zealand’s Dutch cheesemakers have dominated the gold and supreme awards. This year has seen a surge in Italian-style cheeses and flavour-added cheeses, with new cheesemakers and industry stalwarts vying for accolades for their cheese as well as yoghurt and butter.
I must admit to an addiction to goat’s cheese. My first ever foray into this unknown world was in France 30 years ago and my taste buds rebelled. However, as New Zealand cheesemakers developed this variety slowly but surely — first introducing cheeses that were mild and sweet then finally providing upfront goat’s cheeses that linger on the palate — my addiction became intense. Spread on crostini and topped with ripe tomatoes, melted into pasta dishes or combined with chocolate and rolled into truffles — goat’s cheese has become a refrigerator essential.
Cheese and three veg! If the fresh pasta is thick, pre-cook it before using. If the tomatoes are pulpy, squeeze out the seeds. Get the recipe
The soft goat’s cheese melts and forms a sauce to coat the pasta. Get the recipe
Excellent cheese puff nibbles to serve with drinks. Get the recipe