Press Release – Kapiti Cheeses Ltd
Kapiti has received the highest number of awards at the 2013 Champion of Cheese Awards, taking away a total of four category trophies and 22 medals.
Fifty nine cheese companies entered 413 cheeses in this year’s competition, with the winners announced at a gala dinner and awards ceremony in Auckland.
As well as winning the Champion Washed Rind, Champion Blue Cheese, New World Champion Favourite and Champion Original Cheese category trophies, Kapiti cheeses won a slew of gold, silver and bronze medals for a wide range of their cheese across almost all categories.
Founded in 1984, Kapiti prides itself on being dedicated to using the finest New Zealand produce to create cheese which is original, unique and handcrafted.
Kapiti Ramara was awarded the Thermaflo Champion Washed Rind Cheese Award; a category it won for the first time two years ago.
The washed rind cheese is made from 100% cow’s milk and is still made today in the style originally pioneered by the Trappist monks.
While the earthy-yeasty smell of Kapiti Ramara, which means sun and light in Maori, can be very pungent, Master Judge Russell Smith commented that “the cheese strikes a perfect balance of flavour and texture beautifully with its luscious texture and heady aroma.”
Kapiti Awa Blue was awarded the much coveted Ecolab Champion Blue Cheese Award this year, a category which is always hotly contested with many quality entries.
With its stronger flavour and moist crumbly texture, Awa Blue is an ideal cheeseboard item or a great addition to dishes where a bold blue taste is required.
In the past Kapiti Kikorangi has been a stand out blue of the awards; however it was Kapiti Awa Blue which caught the attention of the judges this year. Russell Smith commented that the cheese “had a superb balance of flavours with a fruity, floral aroma and flavour with a tangy background resulting in a truly excellent blue cheese.”
Kikorangi Blue was the popular choice of the New Zealand public winning the New World Champion Favourite Cheese for the second year running and Kapiti Kahurangi Creamy Blue also won a gold medal in the Original Cheese Category.
Kapiti’s mature cheddar, Tuteremoana was honoured as the Fonterra Champion Original Cheese. Named after the highest point on Kapiti Island, Tuteremoana is renowned for its sharp zesty bite. “I was impressed with Kapiti Tuteremoana’s good firm texture,” said Smith. “The cheddar has some savour and fruity notes with slight acidity and a lingering finish. These attributes coupled with the attractive black wax casing create a cheese of distinction.”
Kapiti Tuteremoana did well over a number of categories, also winning gold medals in the GEON Champion Cheddar category and the NZ Specialist Cheesemakers Champion Export Cheese category.
Fonterra Brands NZ Business Manager, Specialty Cheese, Melissa Cantell says winning so many accolades reinforces the continued dedication the Kapiti team have to producing outstanding cheeses; 29 years after the company produced its first block.
“For Kapiti to receive the highest number of awards this year is an absolute honour especially given the talent of New Zealand Cheesemakers,” she said. “Our whole team are immensely proud of these accolades, and the exceptional cheeses our cheesemakers continue to produce.”