Meyer Gouda Cheese - The Best of the Best at NZ Champions of Cheese Awards

A second generation cheese making family with Dutch origins, Meyer Gouda Cheese has impressed local and international judges to secure the country’s top prize for cheesemaking.

Highly commended for their traditional Dutch style cheeses, this year it is the Meyer’s innovation with new cheeses that has set them apart from the hundreds of entries submitted for judging. Picking up a slew of medals and four category Champion Awards, Meyer Gouda Cheese also collected the coveted Countdown Champion of Champions Award (Commercial).

The winning cheese was Meyer Smoked Goat Gouda which Master Cheese Judge, Russell Smith described as “an absolutely gorgeous goat cheese, and a pleasure to eat.”

The Countdown Champion of Champions (Commercial) cheese winner has a smooth creamy texture that delights the palate with sweet and mild piquant flavours,” he adds.

The winning cheese was entered into the Champion New Cheese category of the awards as a cheese that has only been made and sold in New Zealand for less than 12 months.

“2017 has been a real surprise! We are not known for making goat’s milk cheeses yet these have been selected as the heroes of the awards. My brother Geert is our Head Cheesemaker and is really chuffed to see these cheese do so well in this year’s competition. While I spent many years making the cheese this job is now up to him.

Most of our cheesemaking is with cow’s milk from our own herd, so working with goat’s milk is a relatively new thing for us. Winning this supreme award for excellence in cheesemaking is an awesome reward for the effort he has put in,” Miel Meyer, Manager of Meyer Gouda Cheese says.

In addition to the supreme title, Meyer Gouda Cheese also scored four gold medals that then took Championship titles for:

· 180 degrees Champion Goat Cheese Award for the Meyer Goat Milk Gouda

· AsureQuality Champion Dutch Style Cheese for Meyer Fenugreek

· Ministry for Primary Industries Champion New Cheese Award for Meyer Smoked Goat Gouda

· Brancott Estate Wines Champion Flavoured Cheese Award for the Meyer Smoked Gouda

Meyer Gouda Cheese was also awarded six silver medals for their Sheepmilk Gouda, Vintage Gouda, Cumin Gouda, Amsterdammer, Smoked Goat Gouda and Cracked Pepper. Finally, bronze medals were also awarded for Meyer Tasty Gouda and Meyer Cumin with Cloves.

With a golden reputation at the NZ Champions of Cheese Awards, the Meyer family have a strong history of award success with an incredible eighty three medals to date for Champion, Gold, Silver and Bronze winning cheeses.

“Quality has always come first, we have always been focused on quality over quantity so we are extremely proud of our consistency at the awards as well as this year’s success,” says Miel Meyer.

As one of the most significantly awarded cheesemakers in the country, the Meyer family roots are located in a small village in the South of the Netherlands. Founders, and parents to the next generation cheesemakers at Meyer Gouda Cheese, Ben and Fieke Meyer found inspiration after visiting a monastery in Postel where monks produced handmade cheese.

When the Meyer’s moved to New Zealand in 1984, they set up their first New Zealand cheese factory on a two hectare block at Hautapu, between Hamilton and Cambridge. Following in his father Ben’s footsteps, the Meyer’s youngest son Miel began making cheese at a young age and was awarded NZ Cheesemaker of the Year in 2011. He was the youngest cheesemaker in the history of the competition to do so.

“I was always happy to be part of our family cheesemaking and proud too of my parents who have worked so hard to achieve what we have today. Success at the NZ Champions of Cheese Awards is a really good feeling for the whole Meyer family and makes all those long hard days more worthwhile,” Miel adds.

Meyer Gouda Cheese is now a large producer of Dutch style cheeses as Miel heads a second generation implementing innovative techniques alongside his family passion for great quality cheese.

The Meyers produce around 50 tonnes of Gouda a year, most of which is marketed in supermarkets and speciality cheese shops around New Zealand.

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