3 Mar 2010

Fonterra Blue takes top cheese award

8:49 am on 3 March 2010

The two biggest prizes in the Cuisine Champions of Cheese Awards have gone to a first time entry, and a cheese from New Zealand's largest dairy company.

There were more than 430 entries in 19 categories for the awards, which were announced in Auckland on Tuesday night.

Fonterra's Mainland Special Reserve Creamy Blue won the Champion of Champions award for large cheese makers.

The cheese was made at Fonterra's Eltham site in Taranaki, where blue cheeses have been produced using traditional methods since the 1950s.

First time entrant Pukeatua Peak Cheese won the Champion Artisan prize for its Maungatautari Goat Cheese.

The master judge, Russell Smith, says the overall standard was superb, with smaller producers deserving particular praise.

Mr Smith says the blue cheeses being produced in New Zealand are top class.

"The cheese that took the major gong was certainly a very, very good example for a big manufacturer."