Category: Reviews,Events | Post by: Andrea Wong
"Gromit, that's it! Cheese! We'll go somewhere where there's cheese!" (Wallace and Gromit, A Grand Day Out)
Wallace and Gromit had the right idea and so did hundreds of other
people as we all headed to The Langham Auckland for CheeseFest 2010.
OK, so Wallace and Gromit weren't there, but I'm sure that they'd approve. Set in the Langham's new Great Room, it was wall to wall New Zealand-made cheese.
CheeseFest was held the day after the annual Cheese Awards, so we all
got to see and sample the winners of this year's best local cheese producers.
I had the perception that just because a major manufacturer makes a cheese, that it is not as good as a boutique variety. Well that perception was smashed at CheeseFest, with the Champion of Champions award - the Big Cheese of the CheeseFest awards, you might say - went to Mainland for their Special Reserve Creamy Blue. And it was creamy and blue... naturally. Even better, is that it's on special at Countdown this week for $3.99 - hop to it, folks!
My cheese-loving friend, Nibbler and I tried almost every cheese on offer. It was the boutique
cheeseries that we were most interested in seeing - or should I say
tasting. I may not be very adventurous with the cheeses that I like but
with an opportunity like this, I felt that it was my duty to to try
some of the, shall we say, more pungent varieties. My taste buds were certainly challenged - some cheeses were salty, some were yeasty, others just had a really strong flavour. What I realised by the end of the night was that:
- Really strong, goat's cheese is not my cup of tea
- Eating cheese for two hours straight, no matter how slowly I nibble, is not something that I could physically or mentally handle very often.
You know how you can walk into some clothes shops and you love almost everything that they have and would buy half the store, if you could? Well I realised that this can happen with a cheese brand too. For me, it was the cheese from Over The Moon and Clevedon Valley Buffalo. You must, absolutely must, try Over The Moon's triple cream brie. Aptly named OMG, it is creamy, smooth, delicious... both Nibbler and I said "omg, this is so good!" Cleveland Valley Buffalo's range of yoghurt, mozzarella and ricotta were deliciously creamy, light and fresh.
So which were my favourites from CheeseFest 2010?
- OMG Triple Cream Brie - Over The Moon
- Special Reserve Creamy Blue - Mainland
- Cleveland Buffalo Mozzarella - Cleveland Valley Buffalo
- Cleveland Buffalo Yoghurt - Cleveland Valley Buffalo
- Creamy Havarti - Whitestone Cheese
If I find any of these cheeses, I will be buying them and you should too. Try them and let me know what you think. Let's go, "we'll go somewhere where there's cheese!"