Flavour a lick above rest
One of New Zealand's best icecream flavours was created right here out west.
New Lynn-based Kohu Road Ice Cream has been recognised as a winner at the Cuisine Artisan Awards with its salted caramel flavour.
The awards aim to uncover the best artisan-made products in the country produced by people who individually craft goods often according to traditional practices.
Founder Greg Hall says the company is "elated" to be recognised alongside great food producers.
The popular flavour was initially sold only in restaurants.
However its popularity made the decision to share it with the general public easy, he says.
"Salted caramel is a classic French flavour that has been around for a long time.
"But anything with the word ‘salt' in it has been poisoned in the modern food era so it hasn't been around."
The judges heaped praise on the icecream's dark, not-too-sweet caramel and the just-right hint of salt.
Kohu Road's golden syrup flavour won the same award in 2010.
"The key thing for me that's much more important than winning awards is the feedback we get from customers," Mr Hall says.
"We've had parents contact us saying their children can now eat icecream because it doesn't contain any of the chemicals that they're allergic too - that's wonderful."
Kohu Road has come a long way since its humble beginnings in 2007.
Mr Hall and his wife returned to New Zealand after 15 years living overseas in London and Tokyo.
The couple bought up large when they returned after years in a "shoebox apartment" in Japan.
"When we came back we bought a breadmaker, juicer, coffee machine and a small Mr Snowy icecream machine.
"You can't have any of that stuff in Japan, there is just no room and it's too expensive," he says.
With both being "mad foodies", they decided to embark on creating a boutique business and the creation of chocolate icecream in the small Mr Snowy machine began the Kohu Road journey.
Mr Hall prides himself on making completely organic and natural icecream, free of any artificial flavours, chemicals or preservatives.
"Owning a small business is definitely an extreme rollercoaster but we have always stuck to our morals and ethics."
The company now sells their icecream and sorbet around the country and exports to Australia.