Friday, December 19, 2008

I love cheese!

I love food and New Zealand has great food - including our cheese ( photo taken at Lyttelton Farmers market)

Living alone, I whip up few culinary delights: this is despite watching the occasional TV chef, attending a cooking school in Thailand, managing a cafe in Athens, and working as an entree chef in an Italian restaurant, under a temperamental French Chef in Wales!

However this experience has qualified me, like people at an art gallery, to know what I like - and what I miss when I travel. So if it’s cheese you miss, or you want to know more about New Zealand cheese’s here are some ideas from Christchurch, Canterbury.

Right in Christchurch is a wonderful specialist cheese shop – Canterbury Cheesemongers. I used to buy cheese from their cute little refrigerated van when I was at the Christchurch Arts Centre Market each weekend. Since then they have opened an independent shop at 44 Salisbury St only minutes from Cathedral Square - and moments from my apartment: they tell me ‘the van is now selling fresh salmon in Fairlie’.

With an aim to not only sell cheese from people, who care about what they are making, but also to stock foods that go well with cheese, their shop is well worth a visit for nibbles or to stock your campervan for you travels. They also bake bread and other sweet things so pop in for a coffee and enjoy the smells of home cooking while you buy your cheese (or free range eggs, yummy fig and walnut roll or Hazelwood dukkah – all food I can recommend).

Most are of their cheeses are hand made by people who are both skilled and passionate and who thrive on the satisfaction of producing great cheese.

They take on the job of ripening these cheeses by providing perfect conditions for them to develop their potential flavour. They say “We don't suffocate a cheese in plastic or wax but allow it to develop a natural rind of mould and bacteria. This is what people have done since cheese making started - this is how you get better, more interesting and delicious cheese.”

So eschew international fast food places and any restaurants that will deliver just the same meals you can get at home, and visit the local farmers markets and cheese factories and give your taste buds a simple but scrumptious surprise with our tasty local foods.

POST EARTHQUAKE UPDATE (4th Sept 2010) from the Canterbury Cheesemongers ... "If there is something I have learnt over the last couple of weeks it's that Canterbury Cheesemongers is much more than bricks and mortar. It's all about people, cheese and good food.  Since the finality of seeing the old building truly flattened, we have been keeping ourselves busy this week getting our little old yellow van up and running and looking at possible new premises. 
and .. January 2011 .. 
New shop - The Arts Centre, Old Registry Building, 301 Montreal St, Christchurch.  Entrance from the Market Square.Open Tuesday to Friday 10am-6pm and Saturday 10am – 5pm.  Closed Sunday, Monday and public holidays.

We are pretty happy with the end result of the last couple months hard work...  who knows, maybe in a little while, we’ll be pleased that the Earthquake shook us into our new and better shop

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Oh i love that wee French Van. However, the shop is a veritable "University of Cheese" as Martin just knows so much. He and his wife Sarah have been bringing us these wonderful delights for so long. One of my favourite memories is a bit of bath bun with a wonderful piece of stong blue. The Blue River Sheep Halloumi- is a taste fantasy!THanks Heather for highlighting a really special place in Christchurch.