In New Zealand we produce lots of butter, but only standard
butter is available in supermarkets. If you want a cultured
butter you have to buy imported butter - which is ironic for
a major dairying country.
A handful of producers make cultured artisan butters but,
unless you live near one, it's hard to get.
However, Lewis Road Creamery is now making enough to supply
Chefs Peter Cullinane and Andrew Railton's Lewis Road
Creamery started making artisan butter in the eastern Bay of
Plenty from a nearby farm of Jersey cows, which produce milk
high in butterfat. However, they couldn't produce enough to
supply supermarkets because they couldn't get enough Jersey
milk as it is mixed with milk from other breeds.
Now they have managed to mimic the flavour of their artisan
butter by blending two of Fonterra's export butters, a
heavily cultured butter produced for the Middle East and an
uncultured butter produced for the European market, resulting
in a butter that is lightly tangy and still sweet - rather
like butter used to be.
Lewis Road Creamery butter in lightly salted and unsalted
versions is now available in good supermarkets.
• Proper Crisps, the people in Nelson who produce
simple, old-fashioned crisps fried in small batches and spun
to remove much of the oil, have come up with a new flavour,
rosemary and thyme. They are delicious and very morish.
• Trish Gibson, a farmer's wife from Hawkes Bay, made and
sold baked goods at the local farmers market when times were
hard on the farm. They were so popular she expanded to
selling to supermarkets. But her problem was what to do with
the yolks of the eggs left over from her pavlovas so, at the
age of 74, she decided to venture into the world of gourmet
ice cream. Earlier this year, she won several awards in the
annual ice cream manufacturers' competitions and now they are
available in supermarkets around the country.
I particularly enjoyed the Christmas pud ice cream with
Christmas pudding pieces mixed in a brandy ice cream. There's
also a tropical calypso flavour and a delicious, gluten-free
chocolate log that can be served frozen or thawed - just the
thing for the festive season.
• The EasiYo people are expanding their range.
Recently, they came up with a vanilla smoothie, and now they
have Yoghurt 'n bits, a Greek yoghurt base with freeze-dried
fruit. The mixed berry version has good flavour, but the
berries float to the top or drop to the bottom, leaving a
delicious topping for the first one in.
I'm looking forward to trying the cranberry and coconut
• Handy for taking on holiday or just as a cupboard
stand-by, Danny's long-life pita bread keeps for about 30
days unopened and it doesn't need storing in the fridge as it
is packed in a protective atmosphere. You just warm it or
toast it to soften it before using. Danny's has now
introduced an olive-flavoured version to its range.