Whitestone Camembert, halloumi win at awards

Whitestone Cheese Co’s Ferry Road Halloumi was crowned the Champion Greek-Style or Danish-Style...
Whitestone Cheese Co’s Ferry Road Halloumi was crowned the Champion Greek-Style or Danish-Style Cheese at the New Zealand Champions of Cheese Awards. Photo: supplied
Oamaru cheese producer Whitestone Cheese Co has won two trophies at the New Zealand Champions of Cheese Awards.

Its Waitaki Camembert won the Champion Soft White Rind Cheese and its Ferry Road Halloumi, the Champion Greek-Style or Danish-Style Cheese. They were among 26 trophies awarded after more than 250 local cheeses were judged earlier this year.

For Whitestone managing director Simon Berry it was fantastic for its cheeses to get such recognition, not only the two trophy wins, but five gold medals as well.

"It’s an outstanding result."

The judges described the halloumi as "beautifully balanced, great squeak, nice bounce, well-executed salt levels, true to form and lovely ..."

Berry said the cheese was developed in-house and the award was a "true salute" to technical cheesemaking in developing the recipe combined with the region’s milk.

For its camembert to win was a fantastic achievement also, considering all the white-mould entries it was up against, he said.

"As a nation we produce very high-quality soft white cheeses across New Zealand, so we are all particularly thrilled to take the national title as No 1 in this highly competitive category."

NZSCA chairman Simon Lamb said the awards’ significance was in spotlighting locally made cheese, particularly amidst concerns over potential challenges posed by free-trade agreements.

"The NZ Champions of Cheese Awards provide an opportunity to celebrate Aotearoa cheesemakers’ endeavours and showcase world-class quality cheese made right here in New Zealand."

Fonterra Co-Operative Group, NZMP Epicure — also sold as Mainland Epicure aged cheddar — took the top title of Champion of Champions (Commercial).