HAPPY NEW YEAR!
2020 was tough for a lot of us in New Zealand, and that was certainly the case for many of our artisan cheesemakers. Thank you once again for supporting these adventurous and hardworking cheese heroes. Thank you also for supporting us at The Cheese Wheel for bringing their cheeses to you.
Fingers crossed there are no closed farmers’ markets or stalled couriers in 2021.
It’s not hard to get in behind the fine cheesemakers of Aotearoa though, given how good and often surprising their cheeses are.
BLUE – FROM CRAGGY RANGE
We last featured this stunner in February 2020. Reminiscent of a Roquefort, it is nevertheless very distinctive. It’s rindless, with blue-grey veins standing out against the off-white. It’s a little salty, semi-firm but moist and creamy. Dig out a medium-strength IPA or be adventurous and find an orange wine from Josh Scott in Marlborough.
Region: Hawkes Bay. Type of milk: sheep.
CURADO – FROM THORVALD
Curado is a variety of Manchego cheese that’s in the third stage of aging. Made from sheep’s milk, it’s aged from 3 to 6 months. This example from the geniuses at Thorvald is piquant but not strong, sweet and a little nutty. Match it with a Blonde Ale or your favourite Cava.
Region: Nelson. Type of milk: sheep.
BLENDED BRIE – FROM WAIMATA
Waimata are experimenting as always, and this blended brie, using 50/50 cow and sheep milk, achieves what they set out to do: it’s creamy, complex, decadent and blissful. Exercise restraint and ensure it’s at room temperature and you’ll see what they mean! Shout yourself a big Central Otago Pinot Noir or a big hazy IPA.
Region: Poverty Bay. Type of milk: cow+sheep.
FETA – FROM WAIRIRI
There aren’t many water buffalo in Aotearoa, and Wairiri don’t make large quantities of cheese. We are so pleased to bring this absolute treat to you. Feta is a pickled curd cheese, salty and tangy, and changes its characteristics as it ages. Like all feta, this can be used in many ways including cooking and salads, but it’s so good we just, well, eat it. Look for a wheat beer, or a chenin blanc from Gisborne.
Region: Canterbury. Type of milk: buffalo.