Over the Moon Deli offers great cheese and more
It's mid-morning at Over the Moon Deli on Cambridge's main street, and a goodly number of people are perusing the shelves, stocking up on cheese, bread, cured meats and crackers. One customer tucks into an ice cream, another gets a rundown from a staffer on the merits of chorizo sausage.
It's just as owner Sue Arthur envisaged when she opened the business in December last year; a friendly deli showcasing her Over the Moon cheeses, made a little further down the line in Putaruru.
"Let's take the tour," she says. There are a couple of goodies from Hamilton in the form of handcrafted Duck Island ice cream, with magical flavours, and a range of Volare artisan breads.
Sue says Duck Island and Volare are a perfect fit here, along with many New Zealand-made condiments, chocolates, crackers, pesto, olives, and cured meats, plus some imported goods. "We wanted small artisan companies here, people like us."
Then there are the cheeses, of course, the full line-up of Over the Moon's 40 or so products, many of them award winners. You can choose from OMG Triple Cream Brie, Black Truffle Brie, Burgundy Moon, Galactic Gold Washed Rind, Creamy Blue, Goat Blue, Sheep Blue, and Runaway Spoon Creamy Jersey Cow Washed Rind, and fresh buffalo milk Volcano. Just to name a few. And if you visit, you must also try their newcomer; a creamy, delicate, coconut yoghurt.
Over the Moon's Putaruru factory and store, on SH1, started by Sue eight years ago, is the mothership, and the stylish Cambridge deli extends the reach for her products.
Sue lives at Lichfield, near Putaruru, with her Australian partner Neil Willman, who is a highly regarded international cheese judge. Neil is Sue's business partner in the New Zealand Cheese School they run in Putaruru, training cheesemakers, and offering specialist services. He's also her travel companion on their regular research trips to France to "eat as much cheese as we can".
Sue has always been a cheese lover. "My favourite snack as a kid was white bread and butter with Chesdale."
Nowadays, Sue's cheeses-of-choice are a lot finer than Chesdale, and she loves the freedom her business gives her to experiment and to harness the abundant South Waikato dairy milk on her doorstep. "The cows that make most of our milk are just over the fence from our home in Lichfield."
OVER THE MOON BAKED CAMEMBERT
This is Sue Arthur's moreish suggestion for a pre-dinner snack. It's like a swish version of cheese on toast.
Place a whole camembert in a ceramic dish and bake in a moderate oven (about 175-180 degrees C), for around 15-20 minutes. Keep an eye on it, tapping with a spoon to check how it's going. You want it lovely and gooey in the centre.
When baked to perfection, pile warm cheese on toasted sourdough bread, and eat with a tasty condiment. Something not too sweet.
Sue also does this snack on a barbecue hotplate: fry a ripe camembert for about two minutes each side, cut it in half then quickly sizzle the cut faces on the hotplate to finish off. This is good with crispy crackers, too.