25 Oct 2019

More original Kiwi cheese, please

From Country Life, 9:15 pm on 25 October 2019

Hawkes Bay-based international cheese judge Juliet Harbutt wants New Zealand cheese-makers to have to the confidence to produce unique cheeses and not try to follow recipes from overseas.

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Photo: RNZ/Carol Stiles

Many years ago, Juliet set up both the New Zealand Cheese Awards and the British Cheese Awards.

She's now back in New Zealand consulting to cheese-makers and running food and wine tours.

"Why do you need to make a camembert or brie? It's like champagne. We make wonderful bubbly. We make wonderful red wines with pinot noir but we don't call them burgundy we call them pinot noir."

Juliet says if a cheese-maker makes a cheese called 'Full Moon' nobody knows how it is meant to taste.

"Therefore whatever it tastes like is exactly what it should taste like. Isn't that better than making a camembert and people go 'it doesn't taste anything like the original' or 'it's not as good as somebody else's'? I think it's a much better idea."

Related story: Julie Harbutt: NZ needs to realise the export potential of cheese