Happy New Year Cheese News!

Thank you to everyone who came and saw us or ordered cheese for delivery over the Christmas period.  It was a very busy time which makes the topsy turvy up and downs of regular non-Christmas retail easier to sustain.  We thought all the cheeses we had for December were on particularly good form – especially the cheesemonger favourites of Stichelton and Lancashire.  The Evansdale Farmhouse Bries were maybe the best we’ve ever had and are still tasting fantastic!

Cheese events
This Saturday 26th January there is the Cheese Heist organised by the Jamie and Sam who run the Farmers Market at Riccarton house.  All the details can be found here:
http://www.eventfinder.co.nz/2013/the-great-christchurch-cheese-heist/christchurch-city – for tickets
http://www.feastofcanterbury.co.nz/events-guide/item/298-christchurch-cheese-heist – for music schedule and stall listings
This should be a lovely afternoon of Jazz, cheese wine and cider – what more do you need in life!  We will be providing some of the cheese for New Zealand’s longest cheese board and the traditional Raclette, plus Martin and Lisa will be around to mingle and chat about the cheeses.  Local cheesemakers, such as Karikaas, Barry’s Bay and Mt Grey cheeses will also be there tasting out and selling their products.

On Monday 28th January Saggio di Vino are hosting their 2nd cheese and wine matching evening, featuring some of the best of our imported cheeses matched by the wine experts, Lisa, Yommi, Kate and Christine at Saggio.  The list of matches is available here:
http://www.saggiodivino.co.nz/events/events-menu.asp?e=29
Tickets $85 per person and are available from Saggio di Vino 03 379 4006 – bookings essential.

The Cuisine Champions of Cheese Awards are coming up in Auckland at the end of February.  The public event is CheeseFest on Wednesday 27th February.  This is your chance to meet the cheesemakers and taste their winning entries from the cheese awards.  For the first time this year there is an option to attend during the day as well as the usual evening session – details here:
http://www.eventfinder.co.nz/2013/cuisine-cheesefest/auckland

Cheese highlights
Here are some of the cheeses we think are especially fantastic at the moment:
•    Karikaas 6 yr gouda from February 2007 – butterscotchy, crunchy, and not the least bit dry with a long lingering flavour.  Matured with us for the last 4-5 years – it’s not often we have these very special Karikaas cheeses.
•    Donge Brie de Meaux.  We recently changed from stocking the raw milk Rozaire brand Brie de Meaux to Donge, also raw milk.  This small family owned cheese producer makes a more succulent and fuller flavoured brie. From Triconville, Isle de France.
•    Crescent Dairy Goat make two of our very favourite cheeses – the hard pressed, Parvenu, with it’s herb and grassy flavours reminiscent of Portuguese mountain cheeses.  And the Dirty Devil – a washed rind, super stinky and goaty 200gm round – seen on several cheese boards around town including Saggio di Vino, Pescatore at the George and Tiffanys.
•    Extra Mature Windsor Blue, from Whitestone cheese in Oamaru is extra sweet and buttery.  We have about a month’s supply of these, so get it while you can!
•    Keens Cheddar missed being cut at Christmas while we had the lovely Westcombe available, but now cut and delicious, Made by the Keens family in Wincanton, Somerset.
•    Kirkhams Lancashire.  We’ve just cut a cheese that’s slightly older than the Christmas ones.  It’s both creamy and strong, maybe like ‘Leigh toaster’ of old.  Perfect accompaniment to the last of the Christmas cake or makes a magnificent cheese on toast.

Market Square open!
Last week a small miracle happened at the Arts Centre and the Market Square opened up from Worcester blvd!  This means that you can now wander through from Hagley park and the Museum.  We are hoping that this will mean a lot more foot traffic for us and also gives our customers a few more options for getting to us.  Hopefully at some stage soon we will have other activity in the Square – such as a market and/or Artists in residence.

New Yoghurt
We have just started selling a delicious new cow’s milk yoghurt from Kaikoura Cheeses, made by Daniel and Sarah Jenkins.  It is a loose set, low acid, full fat yoghurt that has a natural sweetness and light flavour, lending itself to both savoury and sweet uses. A good complement to our other Buffalo and Sheeps milk yoghurts. $6 for 450mls. Daniel and Sarah are relatively new cheesemakers hoping to produce new goats cheese by the end of this season.  We also stock their lovely yoghurt cheese, Labneh.

Culture Magazine
The ‘winter’ (northern hemisphere) edition has just arrived with interesting articles on Croatian sheeps cheese, Vermont farmstead cheese, and a little bit of science all about lactic curd cheese, plus much more cheesey stuff.

Roadwork nightmares
As with most parts of Christchurch we are having our fair share of road works around us which is making access to Montreal St very difficult for people coming from the north especially.  Rolleston ave is closed at the Gloucester St intersection for south travelling traffic and Durham st is down to one lane between Worcester and Hereford.  During busy times this can mean traffic is at a total standstill!  I know it seems a bit out of the way, but a quicker diversion would be to approach us from Barbadoes and St Asaph, or come around the park, past the hospital and Oxford Tce.  Or maybe even park at Cranmer Sq and have a pleasant walk down Montreal St to us!

Many thanks from Sarah, Martin and the Cheesemonger team.