Cheese Watch: Cuisine's favourite cheeses

Kaikoura Cheese's Tenara is a chèvre-style, pasteurised goat's cheese,  with a tangy nuttiness and a distinct funk.
Tony Nyberg

Kaikoura Cheese's Tenara is a chèvre-style, pasteurised goat's cheese, with a tangy nuttiness and a distinct funk.

We're a cheese-loving bunch here at Cuisine, so we asked our contributors to share their New Zealand-made favourites. 

For some, the brain-wrinkled, ash-covered exterior may be off-putting, but cut into Kaikoura Cheese's Tenara (pictured below) and the ivory white interior reveals its glory. It's a chèvre-style, pasteurised goat's cheese, mousse like with a tangy nuttiness and a distinct funk. The cheese dreams are made of. Ginny Grant, Cuisine senior food writer

My fave is Whitestone Lindis Pass Brie because it's made with a French-sourced starter culture and it is hand-ladled out of the vat and into the moulds. Most importantly, they don't "stabilise" (i.e. kill) the starter culture after manufacture and the brie is allowed to ripen naturally and go runny over time as a proper French brie would, unlike your standard rubber supermarket brie. David Burton, writer/reviewer

We discovered Puhoi Valley Kawau Blue when it picked up the supreme title and a people's choice award at the 2016 NZ Champions of Cheese Awards. I've been fighting the husband for my share of the slice ever since. Mild to medium blue flavour, spicy, savoury, sweet and extra creamy. Kelli Brett, Cuisine editor

I am very fond of Kingsmeade's Sunset Blue – a cheese that truly tastes every bit as stunning as it looks. And can I also cast a vote for Mainland's Aged Cheddar? We go through vast slabs of this in our house. A piece of tasty cheddar on a wine biscuit is an excellent curative for whatever ails you. Lucy Corry, writer/reviewer

My current favourite – aside from an aged maasdam – is Over the Moon's Galactic Gold. It's a washed rind cheese, slightly sticky, a bit smelly, very creamy and oh so tasty on oatcakes with some fig preserve. The best dessert. Fiona Lascelles, Cuisine art director

Mercer Extra Mature Gouda is absolutely fantastic for so many reasons. If there were a jack of all trades in cheeses, this would fit the bill: it is fantastic served simply with grainy crackers, grated on an old-fashioned iceberg salad or into a ham and cheese omelette, but it also stands up and is counted when you really need a bit of a punch in a creamy cheese sauce. It has sensational depth of flavour married with a firm grainy texture. A cheese that really ticks all the boxes. Jane Boyle, wine judge

I love Mahoe Very Old Edam, as did my late dog Basil, who ate a whole wedge once. Turns out my new dog Digby has a similar predilection – he recently ate a wedge of Mahoe Cumin Gouda he nicked off the table. Fiona Smith, Cuisine senior food writer

The March issue of Cuisine is on sale now.

The March issue of Cuisine is on sale now.

Everyone knows haloumi is like bacon for vegetarians (or pescetarians, in my case), and Zany Zeus does an incomparable version. Fry it up and add nothing more than a squeeze of lemon – salty, squeaky, delicious. Alice Neville, Cuisine deputy editor

I love the Over The Moon Red Planet – it's a robust, creamy red leicester. I've been known to eat it straight from the knife in large quantities.  Thomas Heaton, Cuisine/Fairfax NZ food reporter  

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