Massimo’s Italian Cheeses

Massimo's NZ artisan Cheese

Massimo’s is indeed named after an Italian-Kiwi. Massimo and his wife Marina’s story is a familiar one.

They are from Puglia in the south east of Italy (commonly known as the ‘heel’ of Italy), and visited New Zealand on holiday in 2004. Like other visitors from Europe, they were very impressed with how good the dairy is here, but equally bemused by the dearth of quality mozzarella. They hatched a plan that saw them return to Italy for Massimo to complete a three year cheesemaking apprenticeship.

They then came back and settled in New Zealand in 2010, and now employ several people at their factory in Dairy Flat north of Auckland. They started by making three cheeses that form part of the everyday Mediterranean diet – solving the mozzarella problem, and also making ricotta and burrata.  ‘Burrata’ is Italian for ‘buttery’. It originated in Puglia, and is a handmade pouch of mozzarella stuffed with a soft Stracciatella filing of curds and cream. Their range now includes buffalo milk mozzarella using milk sourced from a local herd in the nearby Whangaripo Valley, as well as some aged cheeses – Scamorza (smoked and unsmoked) and provolone. If Parmigiano Reggiano is the king of cheese, burrata is a ‘queen’ of cheese. They launched at Auckland’s La Cigale market, quickly building a loyal following.
Massimo’s Burrata won the Best Italian Cheese Trophy at the 2021 NZ Cheese Awards.

You’ll find some of their cheeses at many outlets including supermarkets, but they still use artisan techniques, as well as experimenting with new styles.

Where do these cheeses
come from?

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