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NZ Cheese Month: Kiwis' tastes are becoming more adventurous

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

New Zealanders are buying better quality cheeses as they explore different speciality cheese including locally-made takes on classics such as feta, halloumi and Parmesan.

Speciality cheese is the big winner with Nielsen Supermarket Sales MAT to 14 July 2019, showing specialty cheese has grown by 7.3% in value and volume compared to the corresponding time last year. The same data shows the total value of sales of cheese in NZ are up by 2.9% compared with the same time the previous year, with a value growth of 6.3% vs one year ago.

The figures were released by the New Zealand Specialist Cheesemakers Association (NZSCA). Each October the Association hosts NZ Cheese Month to celebrate the hard work and dedication of the country’s cheesemakers.

NZSCA Chair Neil Willman says the sales figures are clear proof that New Zealanders are embracing the local cheese industry and getting more adventurous in their tastes as they do so.

"It’s a reflection of the change to a more international style of eating. New Zealanders are wanting to explore different tastes and flavours and our cheesemakers are offering a broader range of cheeses to meet this demand."

"As well as making the traditional cheddar we’ve grown up loving, NZSCA members are making speciality cheeses which haven’t been seen before in NZ such as; Mexican cheeses like Cajeta and Oaxaca, or Italian favourites such as mozzarella, ricotta and mascarpone and interestingly other Italian styles which are less familiar in New Zealand such as; Scamorza, Stracciatella and Stracchino."[1: Caramelised goat’s milk caramel with a floral hint of spice.][2: Mexican-style string cheese, made from ribbons of fresh buffalo milk cheese wound into balls by hand.][3: Scamorza Cheese: Scamorza is made in the same way as mozzarella but is a drier, firmer cheese. Scamorza is shaped in a ball or pear and available in plain and smoked varieties. It melts well and is less watery than fresh mozzarella.][4: Stracciatella means "torn apart" in Italian. As cheese it refers either to thin strands of mozzarella soaked in fresh cream or fresh cream thickened with thin strands of mozzarella. ][5: Stracchino - a creamy, spreadable soft, white cheese. It has fresh and pleasantly sour flavour with notes of fresh milk. Stracchino has a very short ageing period. ]

Neill says it’s wonderful to see the growth in sales of NZ-made cheese - and this October he’s encouraging Kiwis to put even more NZ-made cheese on their plates!

SEARCHING FOR NZ’S FAVOURITE CHEESE COMPANY In a first for Cheese Month, the NZSCA is working with Barker's of Geraldine to find Kiwis’ favourite NZ Cheese Company.

Cheese lovers' are being encouraged to vote for their favourite NZ Cheese Company. The NZ Cheese Company with the most votes at the end of NZ Cheese Month will be named Barker's NZ Cheese Month Favourite Cheese Company

Voting will be promoted via CheeseloversNZ Facebook and Barker's of Geraldine social media.

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