At Farro, we are delighted to offer an extensive range of some of the most divine cheeses in the world and lucky for us, New Zealand’s temperate climate and fresh pastures make our dairy industry world leading. With this year’s drive to support local it is a great time to get to know some of the wonderful cheesemakers we have to offer at Farro and to help, we’ve put together our own guide to New Zealand’s best cheesemakers.
The Cheese Barn
Not only are the cheeses at The Cheese Barn BioGro certified organic, the milk for their cheeses comes from a family farm that has been around since 1972 where the cows and bulls are treated as family, they’re all assigned not only a number but a name! The Cheese Barn have won a plethora of awards, in 2019 they won a Silver for their Organic Cumin Seed Gouda at the New Zealand Cheese Awards and gold in 2018. Our pick is the Cumin Seed Gouda, their take on a traditional Dutch favourite, with the added tastiness of Cumin seed.
Barry’s Bay Cheese
Having produced their first cheddar in 1895, the team at Barry’s Bay Cheese certainly don’t lack in experience. Located in the Banks Peninsula, they have retained a lot of the original methods that were used throughout the early 1900s. This has led them winning an array of awards at the NZ Champions of Cheese Awards, in particular the Champion of Champions award in 2014 for their Aged Gouda – a product we stock across all 6 of our stores.
Traditional Italian cheese making techniques, combined with premium New Zealand dairy product make Massimo’s products a go-to for Italian cheeses. The know-how for these cheeses comes direct from Italy where the owners completed a 3-year apprenticeship in cheesemaking. Our pick is their Mozzarella, a soft and mild cheese which goes perfectly on pizza.
The team at Clevedon Buffalo Co. have taken an alternative approach to the production of their cheese by using Buffalo milk. Produced on the shores of Hauraki Gulf the team and it’s 150 head of buffalo have won multiple gold medals and national cheese awards. Buffalo milk is an ideal alternative to people who’re intolerant to other dairy products, it also has significantly more protein and calcium than cow’s milk. Our pick is their marinated cheese which comes in two different flavours herbs and chilli & lime goes perfectly on crackers or bruschetta.
Over the Moon
Over the Moon sees cheese as an adventure, with New Zealand’s widest range of specialty handcrafted cheese. OTM began as a passion project in 2007 and has since become one of the local area’s most loved and recognised brands, making handcrafted cheeses from four different types of milk. Our pick is the Galactic Gold Washed Rind, gold winner of the 2019 cheese awards, a vibrant orange rind cheese with a piquant flavour made from high quality cow’s milk. As the cheese matures it changes from soft to creamy and the aroma intensifies. Perfect on a cheese board, with smoked chicken in fresh bread or baked in the oven whole and drizzled over veggies.
Little River is based in Upper Moutere, Nelson. The cheesemaker Francis Bigot studied cheesemaking in his home country of France and has 10 years’ cheesemaking experience under his belt. Little River source their A2 cow’s milk from Oakland’s Milk. Our pick is the Tasman Blue, made in traditional style, this cheese has been called the Époisses (pronounced epwas) of New Zealand and is mild enough to claim a wide-ranging appeal and interesting enough for any connoisseur of cheese. Perfect served on a cheese platter with fresh figs, almonds, apple and red wine jelly.
Inspired by his Cypriot mother, Michael Matsis decided to research the art of cheese making and in 2000 started up Zany Zeus with his sister Meropi. Initially the focus of the business was on their traditional Cypriot halloumi cheese which was relatively unknown at the time in New Zealand. Since then the company has seen significant growth and awards and now produces not only cheese but organic milk, cream and cultured products such as mascarpone, sour cream, crème fraiche, cream cheese and yoghurt.
The Drunken Nanny
The Drunken Nanny cheeses are goats cheese produced by a small family farm 16km south of Martinborough. The team at drunken Nanny have won a number of awards at the NZ Champions of Cheese and what was once 25 milking does has now increased to 175 for the 2017/18 season. Much like wine, the cheeses from the Drunken Nanny are subject to season