Sunday, August 14, 2022

Top cheeses found at annual awards

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A clutch of champion cheese makers and commercial operators were recognised at this year’s champion cheese awards, along with a raft of quality cheeses claiming category victories.

This year’s supreme cheese award went to a young cheddar produced by Open Country Dairy, described by judges as displaying superb flavour and body, and a pleasing result from a large producer. 

Little River Estate in Mt Richmond claimed the champion’s award for mid-sized cheese companies with its Little River Mt Richmond cheese, while Craggy Range Sheep Dairy claimed the boutique award with its Maraetotara Manchego. 

The Spanish style cheese is aged for over a year to develop its balanced flavour.

Fonterra’s lead cheesemaker in Eltham Cathy Lang claimed the champion cheesemaker award for a career she embarked on in 2005. 

Head judge Jason Tarrant said her three cheese entries highlighted and her team’s diverse skills, particularly the iconic Kahurangi Blue entry.

An inaugural trophy for sustainability was also awarded this year to Hohepa Hawke’s Bay. 

The trust was set up to help intellectually disabled people have work opportunities and employs 180 people.

It has significantly reduced its emissions profile. 

It also won six medals in the awards this year for its cheeses.

Some of the category award winning cheeses included Fonterra’s Kahurangi Blue claiming the Blue Cheese award, its Mainland Tasty Light also receiving the retail cheddar award, and Karikaas Natural Dairy Products the Dutch style award for its vintage gouda.

Clevedon Buffalo company collected the champion yoghurt award for its vanilla bean offering.

Chefs gave Katikati cheesemakers Mount Eliza the thumbs up for its Blue Monkey cheese in the chefs’ choice awards.

Little River claimed the sheep cheese award with their supreme winning Mt Richmond cheese award, while Fonterra also picked up the export cheese award with its Kapiti Kikorangi triple cream Blue.

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