Washed rind cheeses originated in The Middle Ages at Trappist monasteries in the Loire and Normandy regions of France, invented as a substitute for meat on fasting days. They're typically strongly scented and delightfully gooey in texture, and are made through the continual washing of the raw cheese with brine which enriches the centre with flavour-enhancing bacteria.
It's a style New Zealand artisan cheese makers Over the Moon Dairy have become deservedly famous for, with their Galactic Gold repeatedly winning the Category Champion title at the NZ Champions of Cheese Awards. This year was no different, and the Putaruru dairy can now claim to have won the award five times in seven years.
Their newest washed rind cheese, Burgundy Moon, is on track to become equally adored thanks to its unique texture and taste. Its mottled black crust and fruity, earthy flavour is created through the addition of Merlot grape skins to the rind washing process. It's absolutely gorgeous to eat at room temperature with a glass of Merlot or Riesling. It received the Silver Ministry for Primary Industries Champion New Cheese medal at this year's Cheese Awards.
We're proud to list Over the Moon Dairy in The Dish Pantry - our curated guide to New Zealand's best artisan food and drink. Read more about our favourite cheeses in the range here, or click the links below.