We love showing New Zealand cheeses off here at The Big Foody Food Tours. On almost every Auckland food tour we do, there is a curd of some kind! Here food tour boss, Elle has picked five cheeses you must try in New Zealand.
When you think of edam you think of a red waxed plastic cheese that tastes bland and has a rubbery texture. When we think of edam, we think of the multiple award winning Mahoe Very Old Edam from KeriKeri. VOE (as it is affectionately known) is highly addictive. We have renamed it “Crack” on the tours because one hit and you want more. Even the people who vehemently refuse to like cheese have been turned by VOE. Four years in a row this amazing cheese won the Champion of Champions at the cheese awards and it is not hard to see why. There is a distinctive sweet and nutty taste that has a lingering pineapple flavour. The tiny crystals add a slight crunch similar to that found in Parmesan. You have been warned, buy extra luggage, you’ll be taking some home!
When Daniel and his team at the Kaikoura cheese company first sent this to Auckland, I took one look at it and decided it was definitely going to be a shut eye experience. Covered in a grey / blue geotrichum mould, the bright white goats curd underneath is mouthwateringly sensational. As a seasonal cheese we have had a long winter waiting for the goats to come off their maternity leave and start kidding so we could get out hands on this amazing fromage. Forget crackers, just eat this on its own - it is just perfect.
3 Mahoe Blue
Yes it’s true, we love Mahoe cheeses, but especially this one. It’s the blue sister to the VOE! The VOE is made with skimmed milk and the cream goes into making this delicious cheese. To those who turn their noses up at blue, it is almost impossible with this cheese. There is a similar sweetness as with the VOE but with a the sharp bite that puts a lot of people off blue cheese. Some might consider it a waste to throw a good dollop on a grilled steak, but we’re dusting off the BBQ just thinking about it.
We talk about Biddy a lot on The Big Foody Food Tours. A lady of amazing cheese making talent, she is a bit of a food hero for us, constantly sticking up for the small artisan cheese maker, taking the powers that be to task when she believes they are treated unfairly. Her four cows, Patsy, Holly, Dizzy and Isobel are a great talking point on our Tastebud Tour. Each cheese is either made from one cow, or maybe with a splash of milk from another, either way, the authenticity, traceability and happy cows make it one hell of a memorable mouthful. Think strong buttery cheddar and you’re heading in the right direction.
Colleen came into the office earlier this year proclaiming she had tried “the new salami cheese.” I thought she had lost the plot and decided to ignore her. The next day I was hosting the Tastebud Tour and was handed “the salami cheese” to try - Oh My Word! This cheese is a semi soft cows cheese cloaked in a blend of garlic, herbs and spices which infuse into the cheese giving it the most aromatic of flavours, very similar to salami! It is a delight to have on a cheeseboard, or with a cold craft beer or on a venison burger. It’s ok we’ve done the research for you, you’re welcome!
Want to try these cheeses, check out the Tastebud Tour