Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Cheese of the Month January: Barry’s Bay Mature Cheddar

Last month I chose Linkwater Cheddar as my cheese of the month because it is I believe the best mass produced cheddar available in NZ. This month I thought I would write on Barry’s Bay Mature Cheddar as it’s a rare New Zealand example of traditionally produced cheddar. Unlike mass produced cheddars which are aged in vac packed 20kg blocks Barry’s Bay Cheddar is moulded in wheels and then wrapped in clothe or wax and left to mature.

Barry’s Bay is just out of Akaroa on Banks Peninsular which is known for having been the scene of jousting over the South Island between France and England in 1840. At one point Akaroa was known as Port Louis-Philipe. It is then somewhat fitting that a very English cheese is produced in what could have been a colony of France.

Barry’s Bay Cheddar is a fantastic example of naturally matured artisan cheese, no two wheels are the same and due to the natural aging of the wheels the flavour varies significantly from rind to core. At the rind the cheese displays a complex mix of earthy notes, bonfire smoke and sometimes even a radish like sharpness. The core tends to be palate coating, rich, savoury and creamy.

Barry’s Bay Mature Cheddar finds a perfect place in a Ploughman’s Lunch such as pictured, with strong bitters, old ales or strong ales making a good partner. I drank a pint of Theakston’s Old Peculier when doing the photo above, magic.


Greig McGill said...

Looks delicious... except for the pickled egg! ;)

I've been to Barry's Bay cheeses. I can confirm deliciousness. Next time you're up this way Kieran, could I trouble you to bring a nice cheese selection? There's not much in Hamilton (well, there's the always excellent Meyers, and a good French selection at La Cave, but not much in the way of decent English styles). I'll provide all the real ale you can drink in return! ;)

Kieran Haslett-Moore said...

Sure thing , I will bring you a pickled egg aswell.

By the way Im looking at being in AK Feb 28 till March 2nd. Galbraiths and if you are willing to drive out I would love to visit Hallertau.

Greig McGill said...

Consider it done. If we're lucky, Alex might offer to drive us and we can both imbibe! :)

Paul Garrard said...

The mighty pickled egg is a thing of beauty and taste. But don't underestimate the power of the picked egg !