Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Not Helping

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  • Tom Semmens,

    Who was it who mentioned the smelly secrets of Mercer's cheese shop? that place is magnificent. Lots of cheese, in a shop that fufills all the criteria of the fabled European cheese shops as featured in "My Little Pony" books. In fact, the shop has even had to install a gun turret outside to protect its contents.

    AND the samples are generous.

    AND the prices are very reasonable, especially compared to what the robber barons just up the road at Fonterra HQ charge for their bland family 1kgs.

    Hmmm, come to think of it that big Fonterra factory next to State Highway One and close to the Waikato river DOES resemble one of those sinister Schlosses one can see perched above the Rhine.

    Anyway, I suggest everyone makes the time to stop at Mercer for some cheesey comestibles whenever down that way.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1805 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    I reckon a similar sort of product made to go with NZ brews could go down a storm.

    Don't get me started. We allready have cheeses that match perfectly with our local brews. Those squares of prosessed "cheese" are an ideal foil for Swienlarger and what would go better with Lion Red than grated colby in a plastic bag?

    The wireless north ;-) • Since Dec 2006 • 4810 posts Report Reply

  • Roger,

    And then there is this...

    Cheese?

    Auckland • Since Jun 2007 • 175 posts Report Reply

  • Peter Ashby,

    Tom having driven down the Rhine valley on a lovely day not too long ago I can remember very few Schloss that could be described as 'sinister'. The majority got fairy taled in the 19thC and look rather romantic to us.

    Dundee, Scotland • Since May 2007 • 425 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens,

    Peter: Yes, but you just can't trust the Huns.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1805 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    A last tidbit on cheese:-

    The 2 Kapiti cheeses I've tried & truly relished were Hipi Ma, and a rind-washed gloriously intense number (I've forgotten the name.)

    Other than that, I tend to eat locally - Evansdale at Karitane; Barrys Bay over towards Akaroa; goat cheeses from Kumara Junction and Kakanui, and Whitestone from Otago (their ewes'milk feta, and Moeraki & Windsor blues are excellent.)

    I agree, giovanni, that making tasteless ripoffs of overseas products is a no-no -but the Gaalburn haloumi is really neat - and what other name should be used to convey 'goatmilk cooking cheese"? There was - I think they've gone under - a mozzarella made up the Coast Road (yes, buffalo were farmed there.)

    It's the same problem with the wines -champagne is now out, so we use methode traditionelle (or champane, as I advocate, being in keeping with the other drink-name stealing Ehglish does - like sherry or port...)

    Eventually, this place will have its own names - as we do for paua, or Bluff oysters, or inaka /'bait- but, in the meantime, we use established varietal names (pinot noir or cabernet sauvignon; camembert or Parmesan.) But, as mentioned before, if I want to cook something that tastes it should taste from a recipe new to me, I'll go to quite a bit of trouble to obtain the Real Ingredients- Parmigiano, or galangal, or Japanese nori (yes, I have tried using kareko, but it's a helluva lot of trouble preparing it as sheets, and the end result - wasnt quite right) -or real prosciutto.

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    I think it's also okay to keep the name is the product is good and it's genuinely descriptive. Volumetric (don't laugh) makes a shredded mozzarella for pizza that is cheaper than any other brand and far superior in my extremely not humble opinion. I'm with you regarding eating locally, but we need to try other things and learn from each other, rather than having to reinvent all the things that other cultures have come up with.

    I shall overcome my visceral hatred of Kapiti cheeses and try the Hipi-Ma - but just because it's you... :-)

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7358 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Their Kikorangi blue brie is meant to be good on world terms, but I'm no cheesemeister.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16614 posts Report Reply

  • Mark Harris,

    I'm kind of fond of the Kikorangi (and they're just down the road from me) but Stilton, it's not. Which is okay, a mild blue is good too. But I've yet to find an NZ blue that matches up.

    Waikanae • Since Jul 2008 • 1343 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    I'm not a fan of blue, so the mildness is proably a large part of Kikorangi's appeal for me. Goes damn well with roasted almonds, figs, etc, too.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16614 posts Report Reply

  • Mark Harris,

    Prunes. Warmed prunes (pitted) and smeared with blue. Unbelievable.

    Waikanae • Since Jul 2008 • 1343 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Way to rehabilitate the humble prune..

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16614 posts Report Reply

  • Mark Harris,

    Nothing goes to waste in my larder ;-)

    Waikanae • Since Jul 2008 • 1343 posts Report Reply

  • Mark Harris,

    Also, prunes wrapped in strips of bacon, stick a toothpick through to hold it together and grill and heat in oven (200) for 5-8 minutes, and nom nom nom

    Picture

    Waikanae • Since Jul 2008 • 1343 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Classic kiwiana cuisine, Shirley..

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16614 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    Classic 'devils on horseback' Mark - I'm told by my meat-eating sibs that wrapping the prunes in genuine prosciuto is even better...

    I've eaten quite a bit of Stilton over the years,* but find I much prefer a milder blue vein...I have, incidentally, a stoneware jar containing a (now)40yr old Stilton - kept in the fridge on the advice of the maker who gave it to me. I'm a bit frightened to ever open it....

    *It is really great with good port & nuts- but so is Moeraki Blue-

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Port - now you're talking. Another hedonism thread. Is there any particular cheese that suits a single malt?

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16614 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    Sacha, the only cheese I've ever found to go with a single malt is crowdie (plain, not herb) on very thin oatcake farls - and, seriously, that works OK!

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Ta for the tip. Another two words (and substances) I have never encountered.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16614 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    Both well worth the meeting! (Okay, I grew up with them, but they truely are goodies...)

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    hey! Even tho it's a "Not Helping thread, i'll add Walnuts, blue vein, apples and cramalised onion and tommato paste on pizza base. yummy :)

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6113 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    O gawd Sofie! That does it! Off to do some cooking, dribble dribble drool-

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Mark Harris,

    Classic 'devils on horseback' Mark

    Ah, that's what they're called. Cool. Me, I just eat 'em ;-)

    <quoteI'm told by my meat-eating sibs that wrapping the prunes in genuine prosciuto is even better...</quote>

    Orly? My local butcher makes his own prosciutto. Mmmm...

    Waikanae • Since Jul 2008 • 1343 posts Report Reply

  • JackElder,

    Personally I prefer angels on horseback, but they're a bit pricier.

    Never mind what cheese goes with what, can anyone help me in locating the two foods I really, really miss from the UK (I went a bit native during our OE): pork & stilton sausages, and decent haggis. Both available at most supermarkets I went to in the UK, neither of which I've seen here in the last three years. ??

    Wellington • Since Mar 2008 • 708 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    decent haggis

    I've only tried it locally, not in Scotland, but my experiences to date have indicated that this is an oxymoron.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6165 posts Report Reply

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