Two Fonterra Brands cheeses scooped category trophies at the 2012 Cuisine NZ Champions of Cheese Awards recently, with Kapiti Kikorangi winning the coveted New World Champion Favourite Cheese Award.
Kapiti Kikorangi was voted New Zealand’s best known and most loved cheese by New World Customers. Last year it was voted by judges as the best in the land, taking the title of Yealands Estate Champion of Champions Award, the industry’s top award for cheesemaking excellence. This year it was selected New Zealand’s favourite by another important cheese audience – the public. Over 30,000 voted and Kikorangi emerged as the clear winner.
Four out of the top 10 New World People’s Choice cheeses were blue varietals, stamping it as a firm favourite style for Kiwi consumers. Awards Master Judge, Russell Smith, said the standard of entries for New Zealand blue cheese is always incredibly high.
“Kapiti Kikorangi has been brilliantly made to ensure the blue mould is evenly distributed throughout the cheese. The balance of acid and sweet has been mastered and as a result it presents a wonderful piquancy alongside a smooth creamy finish. It really is a stunning blue,” said Smith.
Another Kapiti blue, Kapiti Kahurangi, took out the Goodman Fielder Champion Export Cheese Award, having scooped the Champion Original Cheese Award in the 2011 Awards. Kahurangi is a superbly textured creamy blue with a great balance of spicy and slightly fruity flavours.
Other cheeses made by Kapiti that received gold medals included Kapiti Ramara, Kapiti Aorangi Traditional Brie and Kapiti Pakari Aged Cheddar.
Tim Jordan, senior brand manager for specialty cheese at Kapiti, says the whole team at Kapiti are proud of the awards. “To take out two champion awards with our blue cheeses is fantastic, but to then also pick up gold medals in three other categories is an amazing tribute to our cheesemakers,” he says. “It is a real reflection of their passion for cheese, and their tireless commitment to quality.”