Known around the world for its sheep, dairy industry and magnificent scenery, or not necessarily in that order, New Zealand is fast becoming a world leader as a producer of fine quality food and wine.
I recently attended a demonstration of an innovative New Zealand product with a hard to forget name, Mad Millie Cheese Kit. Held at Neilson Park, the demonstration was presented by Danielle Dixon, who appeared as a contestant in season three of Masterchef Australia. Danielle held us all spellbound as she made cheese making, look so easy and so much fun. Just to prove how easy it was, Danielle asked several members of the audience to come up and assist her. I am not known for my culinary skills so I did not rush to volunteer, but after watching the demonstration, I can’t wait to try making some cheese myself. Mozzarella appeared to be one of the easier varieties to make, so I think I will start with that.
With their head office in Auckland, Mad Millie creates DIY food kits that enable the adventurous, and not so adventurous, home cooks to create many varieties of cheese in their own kitchen. These easy to use kits provide everything needed to get started, except the milk. Even the most inexperienced home cooks can create their own mozzarella, ricotta, mascarpone and feta to name but a few. Once they become more confident they can move onto other varieties such as camembert and blue vein.
Cheese is made from souring milk by adding an acid such as lemon juice or vinegar or by using a bacterial culture. This causes the milk to separate into the curd, the solid part from which most cheese is made, and also the whey, which is the liquid.
One of the most important reasons for making your own cheese is that you know exactly what has gone into it and that there are no artificial ingredients. Imagine how impressed your friends will be when you present your own hand made cheeses that taste so good. Sandra Tiltman