It’s another stellar year for the “Dutchies”, securing all three supreme titles at the 2015 New Zealand Champions of Cheese Awards.
This is the third consecutive year that the self-titled “Dutchies”, or Dutch-style cheesemakers, have scooped top honours, with Master Judge Russell Smith saying New Zealand made Dutch-style cheese is “as good as it gets anywhere in the world”.
The fiercely sought-after Countdown Champion of Champions Cheese Award for large cheese producers was won by a Dutch-style cheese made in the Bay of Islands – Very Old Edam by Mahoe Farmhouse Cheese. A Dutch hand has also created the best Artisan cheese in the land: Mercer Cheese (lead by cheesemaker Albert Alferink) has won the Puhoi Valley Champion Artisan Cheese Award for its Mercer Mature Cumin.
Completing the Dutch trifecta is Miel Meyer, of Meyer Gouda Cheese, winning the Milktest NZ Champion Cheesemaker Award for second time in the awards’ history.
Master Judge Russell Smith said he has always regarded Dutch-style cheese made in New Zealand as world-class and this year’s result is no exception. “One of the most striking things about specialty New Zealand cheese is the exceptional quality of Dutch-style cheese.
“The continuity of Dutch families making cheese in New Zealand has, without doubt, resulted in world-class cheese being produced year after year,” Smith said.
The 2015 competition was one of the toughest yet with over 470 specialty cheeses, yoghurts and butters entered. Winners were announced at a gala dinner and awards ceremony at The Langham, Auckland on Tuesday 17 March.
The April issue of FMCG Business magazine will feature a full list of this year’s award-winners and exclusive insights from one of the NZ Cheese Awards judges.