Culinary Events: Cheesemaking Workshops from New Zealand Cheese School

I’m not sure about you, but one thing I tend to miss most when departing certain countries is their cheese.  How many times have you found yourself saying, “Oh, the Mozzarella in Italy is fresher,” or “Manchego in Spain tastes different?”  I’m certainly guilty of it, and now living in Taiwan for two years — where cheese is not an integral part of the diet — I’ve found myself living a life of cheese deprivation!  Just to be fair, we do have some craft cheeses available in larger, more western style grocery stores, but they don’t come cheap, nor can you find the variety I’m used to back in the United States.

If you are a cheese lover like me, you should know there is help for us — they are called cheese workshops!  If you’re working on upcoming culinary travel plans, you should know that New Zealand has a cheese school that offers one-day workshops where you get to be a cheesemaker for a day!

You can be a cheesemaker for a day in New Zealand!

Nearly every month this year, the New Zealand Cheese School is holding these workshops all around the country, making it convenient to do one no matter what part of New Zealand you plan to travel in.

What Topics do the Cheese Workshops Cover?

Workshops run from 9:30am to 3:30pm and include a discussion about the origins of cheese, starter cultures, and rennet.  They go over home hygiene, how to source milk, recipes and techniques for making cheese at home, necessary equipment, and how to ripen and mature your cheese.

Each class will focus on making one or two cheese types — Feta and Halloumi, Brie, Washed Rind, Goat cheese, or Blue.  Also, every one of the workshops will teach you how to make ricotta, mascarpone, Greek-style yoghurt, and quark.

What is Included in the Workshop?

Included in the courses are notes, recipes, and instructions.  Enjoy complimentary tea and coffee, along with a hosted cheese tasting with cheeses from Over the Moon Dairy.  You also get to take your cheese home to ripen and mature.  Now, if you are planning to leave New Zealand right away, and traveling to a country that doesn’t allow dairy imports, you may have to part with your beloved creation and start over when you return home.  Or, consider the Feta workshop as your cheese is aged the next day, allowing you to devour it before traveling!

What Supplies Should You Bring?

Requested materials include a clean apron, a pen to take notes, and cash or check to purchase cheesemaking supplies (they note that most people spend between $40 and $150).

To find out more information on workshop locations, prices, and to sign up, please see the New Zealand Cheese School website.

Have you taken a cheese making course in New Zealand?  Please let us know about your experience as this is something we’re very interested in doing on our trip to New Zealand!

This post is part of the #Blog4NZ event taking place March 21-23. Please help this worthy cause and support tourism to New Zealand by sharing this article across your social networks.

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