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2019 NZ Champions of Cheese Trophy Win | Over the Moon Dairy, Galactic Gold

This trophy was amongst the 26 announced at the 2019 NZ Champions of Cheese Awards on Tuesday 21 May at a gala dinner at the Distinction Hamilton Hotel and Conference Centre.

Organised by the New Zealand Specialist Cheesemakers Association (NZSCA), the NZ Champions of Cheese Awards has been run since 2003. The Awards dinner was attended by around 300 people from the industry – including a group from Over the Moon.

The trophy win capped off a successful 2019 awards for Over the Moon – alongside the 11 medals including 6 gold awarded in March.

Fellow Waikato based Cheese maker Meyer was named Countdown Champion of Champions (Commercial) for their Cheese Goats Milk Gouda; and Mahoe Farmhouse Cheese, Cumin Gouda was awarded Puhoi Valley Champion of Champions (Boutique Cheese Award).

For full details of the winners – head to

2019 NZ Champions of Cheese Trophy Win | Over the Moon Dairy, Galactic Gold2019-06-01T11:32:32+12:00

11 new medals for Over the Moon – 2019 NZ Champions of Cheese

2019 Medal Announcement – NZ Champions of Cheese Awards

Over the Moon has achieved 11 new medals at the annual NZ Champions of Cheese Awards 2019 – 6 gold, 3 silver and 2 bronze. The gold medal cheeses are in the running for the category trophy awards to be announced at the Awards Dinner in Hamilton on Tuesday the 21st of May 2019.

Over the Moon Medals:


Creamy Blue – ECOLAB Champion Blue Cheese Category
Halloumi – Eurofins NZ Champion European Style Cheese
Ricotta – Sacco Systems Champion Fresh Italian Style Cheese
Burgundy Moon, Fonterra Champion Original Cheese
Aroha – CHR Hansen Champion Soft White Rind Cheese
Galactic Gold – Thermaflo Champion Washed Rind Cheese


Cumerino – Sheep Milk NZ Champion Sheep Cheese
Pepperino – Sheep Milk NZ Champion Sheep Cheese
O.M.G Triple Cream Brie – CHR Hansen Champion Soft White Rind Cheese


Willton – ECOLAB Champion Blue Cheese Category
Manchego – Sheep Milk NZ Champion Sheep Cheese

To read the NZ Specialist Cheesemakers Association’s press release, click here.

11 new medals for Over the Moon – 2019 NZ Champions of Cheese2019-03-26T14:10:41+13:00

Hiring – Career Cheesemaker

** Closed ** Career cheesemaker – international award-winning artisan factory

Looking for a food industry position training with the best in the industry?

We’re looking for a full time career cheesemaker for our international award-winning factory based in Putaruru, South Waikato.  It’s a hands-on job, creating our very special products and would suit someone with food industry experience looking to follow their passion.

You’ll need to make a commitment long term because you’ll be studying towards a cheesemaking qualification training through the world-class New Zealand Cheese School also based on-site, to make an extended range of cheeses.  Days are never boring!

Putaruru is a progressive and growing small town, affordable and welcoming. It has great recreation facilities close by and is centrally located. Hamilton, Rotorua, Taupo and Tauranga are all but one hour’s drive.

We’re taking expressions of interest for the position until 15 February 2019.  Please contact Sue at with your CV if you would like to register.

Hiring – Career Cheesemaker2019-02-26T09:43:10+13:00

Over the Moon Christmas Tree Platter

Planning something special for your festive cheese board? Follow Sue’s steps below to pop together a perfect Christmas Platter your family, friends or colleagues will remember.

The Over the Moon Christmas Tree Cheese Platter:

Start with a large board 50cm x 50cm and prepare all the cheese first. Wash and dry fruit, tomatoes and herbs. Put each of the ingredients in a small dish.

The tree has 4 layers: build from the bottom up. Sue’s tipbuild each layer from the middle to the outside – its easier to keep the shape in balance

  • Tree trunk, 5 sticks of Molly Whoppy Crunchy n Cheesy Savoury Bites (30g pack)
  • Bottom layer of cheese (layer 4), 250g of OMG Triple Cream Brie sliced (NB – easier to make with squares)
    • 12 small strawberries and sprigs of rosemary
  • Next layer of cheese (layer 3), 230g of Wensleydale with Cranberries sliced into wedges
    • 8 red jellybean tomatoes and parsley sprigs
  • Next layer of cheese (layer 2), 155g of Goat Blue cubed
    • 6 green grapes and sprigs of rosemary
  • Top layer of cheese (layer 1), 135g of The Black Sheep, cubed with red rind showing on each piece
    • Sprigs of rosemary
  • To cut the star, use a cookie cutter and 40g of Manchego. Double layer for better effect.

Pop some Zoe Bone Foods Spiced Carrot and Garlic chutney into a small dish, add Herb and Spice Fine Food Lavosh Bites, forks and little cheese knives.

Bon appetit!!

Over the Moon Christmas Tree Platter2018-11-27T11:05:32+13:00

Gold Medal for Volcano at the 2018 Outstanding NZ Food Producer Awards


 Tuesday 10 April 2018

After judging more than 180 of the country’s finest food products, 25 New Zealand food producers have been named as Gold Medal winners in the 2018 Outstanding NZ Food Producer Awards.

One Supreme Champion, four category Champions and five special award winners will be named from the Gold Medal winners at the Awards on Thursday 26 April 2018 at Auckland’s Fresh Factory.

Twenty-five Gold Medals were awarded – with two producers, Clevedon Buffalo Company and The Drunken Nanny each receiving two Gold Medals. Fifty-eight Silver Medals were awarded and a further 42 products were highly commended, meaning judges recognised the work and quality of the products that just missed out on receiving a medal.

The 2018 Outstanding NZ Food Producer Awards received 186 products to judge from 100 New Zealand producers. They were judged for aroma, taste, quality, innovation, pack design, sustainability and brand story by a panel of specialty food retailers, chefs and food and drink experts last month. Products are judged across four categories; Earth, Paddock, Water and Dairy.

Head Judge Lauraine Jacobs said “Judging is not easy given the talent of food producers and the quantity of fine fare. Meat entries were of an even higher standard than 2017 with the growing paddock-to-plate trend evident in the number of thoughtfully created brands. Baking is still a big part of our national food psyche with some delightful entries, many catering to folk with allergies and intolerances.”

Co-organiser Kathie Bartley said it’s a privilege to share the love of New Zealand food with producers and food lovers. She said they were thrilled by the 23 per cent increase in entries from last year and delighted 44 per cent of entries were awarded gold or silver medals. “This is proof of the dedication of the Kiwis who harvest, grow and make our food. The energy and enthusiasm they put into creating great produce is reflected in the strong number of awards.”

She says consumers can look out for Outstanding NZ Food Producer Gold and Silver Medals on award-winning products at Specialty retailers, food stores, producer websites and at Farmers’ Markets across the country. Foodies can still be involved in the Awards by voting for the Coast People’s Choice Outstanding Product or Coast People’s Choice Outstanding Producer or New Zealand’s Outstanding Farmers’ Market on the website where the complete list of medal winners as well as the producers who were highly commended are listed.

The 2018 Outstanding NZ Food Producer Awards Supreme Champion, Earth Champion, Paddock Champion, Water Champion and Dairy Champion, along with the New Zealand Life & Leisure Spirit of New Zealand Award, FMCG Business Outstanding New Producer, T&G Global Outstanding Sustainability, Label & Litho Outstanding Design and Marvellous Marketing Outstanding Drink will be announced on Thursday 26 April. The award winners will be featured in the NZ Life & Leisure May/June (#79) issue on sale 30 April.

Gold Medal for Volcano at the 2018 Outstanding NZ Food Producer Awards2018-06-28T13:17:45+12:00

Crowd Favourite

Wonderful article by Suzanne Dale for Bite – read the full article here.


The small Putaruru-based team behind Sue Arthur’s Over the Moon Dairy Company is trialling its latest cheese — a white mould with turmeric through the paste. “It’s a sunny bright yellow when you cut it open and it’s delicious,” Sue says.

“We’re offering it through our shops in Putaruru and Cambridge and plan to make it a bit more widely available if our consumers like it. We love coming up with new and unusual cheeses.”

It’s an approach that has seen them right. In just 10 years, Over the Moon has turned local Waikato cow and goat milk, sheep milk from Spring Hill (north of Taupo) and Matakana buffalo milk into an array of delectable rounds — traditional hard cheeses like Cheshire and romano through to soft whites, blues and washed rinds. They’ve collected 116 awards and won many more loyal customers in the process.

Read more about Burgundy Moon here.

Crowd Favourite2018-06-28T13:20:08+12:00

Neil’s tips for presenting your cheese board

Neil’s tips for presenting your cheese board

A well-presented cheese board with a good balanced with colour and taste makes a perfect appetizer or serve it just before dessert.

  • One hour before serving unwrap the cheeses and prepare them on the cheese board.
  • When cutting a cheese ensure that every portion contains some of the rind.  It is usually riper at the rind and the flavour intensity increases towards the rind.
  • To make it easier to cut the cheese it’s a good idea to dip the knife in hot water, particularly the blue cheeses.
  • If you do not possess the ideal knife, choose a knife with a long rigid blade
  • Cut the cheese portions cleanly and make them of equal size.
  • Keep the cutting knife clean; you can use either a piece of bread or hot water.  This prevents carryover of flavours from one cheese to another.
  • The shapes, sizes, textures and colours should have variety.  Consider a pyramid, log shapes, rounds and wedges. Colours; the grey/green blue-veined Blues, the brown-orange of a washed rind, the golden yellow of the Cheddar, and white fresh cheeses.
  • Try to make the cheese board visually appealing.  The first eye contact with the cheese board will create an impression.  Label the cheeses to stimulate discussion your guests.
  • Your presentation should leave enough surface area to allow air to circulate between the cheeses, preventing them from absorbing each other’s flavours.
  • Garnish the board with a mixture of colours and compatible foods between the cheeses.  Include items like cherry tomatoes, grapes, slices of apples, pears, strawberries, melon slices (avoid acidic fruits like oranges that clash with the cheese) toasted almonds, pistachios or black walnuts, smoked salmon, handmade sausages, venison, ripe figs and fig paste.
  • A cheese board is not complete without the complement of bread and wine.  Use bread made by a human!  French baguette with its crusty surface and soft inside or a brown bread for the fresh cheese types both work well. Choose a wine that does not have an over dominant character otherwise the flavours of the cheeses will not be appreciated.
  • Start with the mild cheeses and work your way up to the stronger ones.

Some general guidelines:

  • Balance the flavour strength of the cheese with the flavour strength of the wine
  • The whiter and fresher the cheese, the whiter and crisper the wine
  • The darker and stronger the cheese, the darker and stronger the wine
  • The more pungent the cheese you choose, the sweeter the wine should be
  • Many of those sweeter whites nicely complement a full range of cheeses
  • Additionally, the “sparkle” in a sparkling wine or champagne can help break through the fat in heavier cheeses.
  • For a safer bet when serving several wines, choose Parmesan or vintage Cheddar cheeses. They match well with most wines
  • White wines match best with soft cheeses and stronger flavours
  • Red wines match best with hard cheeses and milder flavours
  • Fruity and sweet white wines (not dry) and dessert wines work best with a wider range of cheeses
  • Sweet cheeses (e.g. Vintage harder cheese) match well with most wines

Suggested matches:

Mild and Tasty Cheddar

  • Chardonnay
  • Merlot

Extra Tasty and Vintage

  • Cabernet Sauvignon and
  • Shiraz, Dessert and fortified wines

Young and long life white mould cheeses 

  • Sauvignon blanc
  • Sparkling white wine

Aged white mould cheeses

  • Chardonnay
  • Rose
  • Cabernet sauvignon Pinot Noir

A young mild washed rind

  • Pinot noir, Cabernet Franc,
  • Gewürztraminer, Pinot Gris   

Stronger and more mature washed rind

  • Dessert or fortified wine
  • Sparkling red
  • Parmesan
  • Chardonnay
  • Shiraz
  • Ports and sherries
  • Sparkling wines

Fresh curd cheeses or goat’s cheese

  • Sauvignon Blanc

Blue Cheese

  • Medium bodied reds, Port, Late harvest whites

Enjoy! Read more about Neil Willman here.

Neil’s tips for presenting your cheese board2018-06-28T13:23:17+12:00

International Gold for Black Truffle Brie by Neil Willman

Over the Moon’s Black Truffle Brie by Neil Willman has been awarded a Gold Award and Outright winner for the “Best New Zealand Cheese’ at the 2017 International Cheese Awards in Nantwich, UK on the 25th of July 2017.

The Nantwich International Cheese Awards is the largest cheese award show in the world with over 5600 cheeses from around the world entered in the 2017 event. Sue Arthur, Over the Moon owner and founder was invited as a guest judge and could receive her trophy in person.

“We WON! Best New Zealand Cheese (Black Truffle Brie by Neil Willman) at the biggest cheese show in the world, the International Cheese Competition in Nantwich, UK. Ecstatic!”, Sue Arthur shared on Facebook.

Black Truffle Brie by Neil Willman is an Over the Moon original cheese created by renowned international cheese master and judge Neil Willman and has previously been awarded Category Champion in 2015 at the New Zealand Champions of Cheese Awards.

Nantwich International Cheese Awards in numbers:

  • The 2017 event was the 120th anniversary with the awards show growing each year.
  • 5% increase of entries from the 2016 event.
  • Over 500 judges were tasked with judging the 5600 entries in just 5 hours.
  • Over 30,000 visitors were expected with overseas visitors attending from New Zealand, Japan, Australia, Canada, USA and every European country.
  • The size of the pavilion had to be increased to accommodate the record number of Trade Exhibitors.
  • This is the second Nantwich award for Over the Moon with Galactic Gold receiving a silver medal at the 2016 awards.

Over the Moon Black Truffle Brie is available from our Stockists nationwide.

International Gold for Black Truffle Brie by Neil Willman2017-07-28T13:48:07+12:00
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