Kiwis have more opportunities for cheese tasting than you can roll a wheel of cheese at this month as the country’s cheesemakers celebrate their craft.
Every October the New Zealand Specialist Cheesemakers Association (NZSCA) members host a variety of tastings, inviting cultured Kiwis to events across the country to meet cheese makers and taste their wares.
With more than 40 events and specialist cheesemaker tastings across the country it is difficult to highlight a few However, here are four which have caught our attention:
- Cranky Goat are working with Bowel Cancer Foundation Trust raising money for those in need. Throughout NZ Cheese Month, for the whole of October, Cranky Goat will donate 10% of every Pelorus Pearl cheese sold to the Bowel Cancer Organisation.
- Puhoi Valley and Hallertau Brewery have come together with their finest, pairing Puhoi Valley award winning cheeses with Hallertau craft beers. “Beer Loves Cheese tasting” at Hallertau Brewery, 1171 Coatesville-Riverhead Hwy, Auckland, Throughout October
- Over the Moon is opening its production facility in Putaruru. “Meet the Over the Moon ‘Team, Talk and Taste’, Factory Tour” at Over The Moon, 33 Tirau Street, Putaruru, 10am-1pm, Thursday 19 October, info; Over The Moon 07 883 8238
- Join the team at C’est Cheese in Featherston to celebrate the month with a specially designed NZ Cheese degustation dinner by Chef Ant North. Michelin trained Chef North will led a cheese themed adventure that will change the way people view cheese as a key ingredient in a menu. Chef North will create six courses featuring up to 18 cheeses from New Zealand’s smaller cheese making companies. “NZ Cheese degustation dinner by Chef Ant North” at C’est Cheese 06 308 6000, Friday 20 October
- Weekly Cheese pack giveaways on the NZSCA Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/CheeseLoversNZ/
NZSCA Chair, Miel Meyer says October is an opportunity for cheese makers to focus on educating people about their cheese in the lead up to the summer entertaining season.
He says October is an important month for cheese makers.
“October signals the spring flush it’s when most dairy animals have their young, grass is lush and plentiful and there is an abundance of milk allowing cheese makers to create fresh seasonal cheeses. Fresh cheeses such as ricotta, goat’s curd and buffalo mozzarella have such a delicate flavour that it makes them perfect to use with the fresh tastes brought to us by spring.”
This year NZ Cheese Month comes as Nielsen data shows supermarket sales of New Zealand Specialty cheese have increased in value by 6% in the 12 months to August 2017. What’s more, in the first quarter of 2017 Nielsen says 771, 383 Kiwi purchased specialty cheese, an increase of more than 20% compared with the same period in 2014.
All NZ Cheese Month events are listed on the NZSCA website http://www.nzsca.org.nz and NZ Cheese Lovers Facebook www.facebook.com/CheeseLoversNZ will have cheese giveaways, share recipes and information about New Zealand cheesemakers throughout October.
 *Nielsen Scantrack Supermarket data to August 2017
 Nielsen CMI Shopper data to Quarter 1 2017