New Zealand has been well known with its clean natural environment which produces high quality cows, sheeps and many more. In expansion from high quality cows meat and cows milk, cheese are one of the products that has been highly recognized.
This year, New Zealand’s top cheese brand Mainland has brought its naturally-aged fine cheese to Malaysia!
Food-loving Malaysians are increasingly sophisticated in selecting good cheese as ingredients for cooking, from Western favourites like pizza, burger, pasta to Asian adventures like the Korean budae jjigae, Hong Kong style cheese-baked rice, cheese naan, and banana cheese fritters.
However, many may not have discovered how high-quality cheese can tingle the tastebuds on its own or paired with one’s favourite beverage or food! In fact, it is one of the easiest and most satisfying ways to enjoy a meal with your friends and family – just slice the cheese and you are on your way to a delicious dairy escapade!
While Mainland cheese is versatile for cooking and pairing with other food, it is especially wonderful to be enjoyed on its own due to its fresh and exquisite flavours.
For more than 50 years, Mainland believes that “good things take time”. The company takes no shortcut in the careful and slow aging of its fine cheese in the year-around cool and temperate climate of New Zealand. It honours timeless craftmanship in producing the finest 100% natural cheese; that’s why they still craft cheese the way it has been doing for over 65 years with traditions proudly handed down from generation to generation.
Cheese-making, an ancient practice, involves culturing milk with specific bacteria strains. Mainland is one of the last big cheese companies to make and supply its own culture, which is crucial in developing the complex flavour of its cheese. This means that Mainland produces richer cheese with greater consistency by making it the way it was made 100 years ago – through a natural process.
“Just say ‘New Zealand’ and its lush landscape immediately comes to mind for many people. Indeed, it is a country bathed in sunshine, with clean air and an ideal climate for growth and abundance. New Zealand is also one of the few places where cows graze on sweet grass pastures all year, which gives them the best from nature to produce high quality milk,” says Debbie Van-Niekerk, cheese expert from Fonterra New Zealand.
She explains that grass-fed cows are key to the high-quality cheese that Mainland is known for.
“You may have noticed that Mainland and other New Zealand cheese has a pleasant golden hue. This is all down to the beta-carotene. You see, fresh plant food like grass are rich sources of beta-carotene, which is also a pre-cursor for Vitamin A. Hence, milk products from grass-fed cows have a higher concentration of this nutrient,” Debbie points out.
“We understand that it is the little things that make all the difference and that good things take time, which is why we never give in to the temptation to rush. We believe that only care and attention deliver the best results,” says Debbie.
She also recommends more Malaysians to try serving plain cheese on a platter with some fruits, snacks, or beverage as a luxurious and fuss-free appetizer. To do this, the cheese should be brought to room temperature for the best tastes. “Cleansing our palate in between bites with drinks and tasting the cheese in order of flavour intensity will make the experience even better!”
Now, Malaysians can enjoy a variety of Mainland cheese, including Vintage, Tasty, Colby, Gouda, and Edam – they are good on its own, paired with other food, or in cooking.
Vintage, for instance, is premium cheddar aged up to 24 months, thus delivering a sharp, rich savoury flavour with a strong bite. Its sweet, smoky flavour works best with burgers, cheese dips, pasta, beef or chicken meat jerky, or just on its own for a bold burst of dairy goodness on the tongue.
The second, Tasty, is a cheddar aged up to 18 months to create a full-bodied flavour with lingering fruitiness. The trusted favourite pairs well with the savoury notes of chicken floss (serunding) and crispy dried seaweed.
Moist and sweet, Colby is a strong contender for being best mates with Asian cuisines. It goes wonderfully with kimchi, spicy vegetable pickles and spiced nuts.
Gouda, which is a Dutch-style semi-soft cheese with a nutty note is a flavourful companion to toasted Sichuan spice, traditional chilli, and mushroom salads.
Finally, Edam is high in protein, with reduced fat, and is ideal for vegetarians. It is sweet, buttery and nutty, which lends complex savoury notes to sweet and sour Asian dishes or sauces.
Inspired to get on for yourself? The Mainland’s cheese are currently available at all major supermarkets nationwide, or have it delivered to your doorstep with HappyFresh!
For more information on Mainland, ‘like’ the Anchor Dairy Malaysia Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/AnchorDairyMalaysia.