Cheese Box 20 –
March 21

Early autumn in Aotearoa brings some of our best weather, and with it lots of opportunities to enjoy cheese outside at a picnic, at the beach, or simply at home.
After introducing a few cheesemakers new to The Cheese Wheel over summer, this month we feature some stalwarts of artisan cheesemaking in New Zealand. However, all four cheeses are new to our boxes and we know you’ll relish each (maybe even with some relish). Start with the soft cheeses…

STRACCINO – FROM VIAVIO

Stracchino is a rindless soft and creamy cheese originating in Northern Italy. It ripens from the outside. Viavio’s has a very delicate flavour, even a little sour, somewhere between cheese and yoghurt. It can be sliced or spread, and is ideal for crackers or in a salad.  Try it with a blonde beer or your favourite young dry white wine.

Region: Nelson. Type of milk: cow.

SMOKED SOFT CHEESE – FROM CRANKY GOAT

This is the first smoked soft cheese we’ve tried and given it’s pretty uncommon, chances are it’ll be your first too.  It’s smooth and creamy as you’d expect, but the applewood used to cold smoke it for 20 minutes imparts a lovely light smoky flavour. Great for salads, pizza, pasta, eggs, and just nibbling. Match it with a saison or a sauvignon blanc.

Region: Malborough. Type of milk: goat.

CREAMY BLUE – FROM OVER THE MOON

This cheese looks great and tastes even better. It’s creamy to the point of being velvety but stays a bit sticky too. Depending on how old it is, it has a bit of a bite too. Try a riesling, a port, or a red ale.

Region: Waikato. Type of milk: cow.

BEER WASHED TOMME – FROM CARTWHEEL CREAMERY

Cartwheel Creamery have fun experimenting with their Tomme, a traditional semi-hard style. Sometimes they flavour it with fenugreek or cumin like you might with a gouda, sometimes they smoke it using applewood. This version has been washed in stout from Brew Union. Find a Trappist style (or even a local stout?) or a full-bodied shiraz.

Region: Manawatu. Type of milk: cow.

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