'That's unbelievable cheese!' – Kiwi cheesemaker debuts latest creation after finding mould in strange location

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Breakfast

Otago based Whitestone Cheese have hit the jackpot with their new blue cheese creation, finding a local source of a special mould usually found in damp limestone caves.

Penicillium roqueforti, a mould needed for a special kind of blue cheese, is normally found in limestone caves, but not this time.
Source: Breakfast

Whitestone Cheese chief executive Simon Berry told TVNZ1's Breakfast his company found the penicillium roqueforti mould somewhere completely unexpected.

"The mould is the original blue strain named over the Roquefort caves in the south of France, so we started looking in our limestone caves here in north Otago and sending our samples off to a lab in Christchurch but after six or so samples we had no luck."

The lab told Mr Berry they would keep a look out for any potential penicillium roqueforti mould that was sent their way and after six months' time Mr Berry received a call from them.

"You'll never guess what I've got some roqueforti in front of me, it's come in from a farmer's hay bale up in Fairleigh," Mr Berry recounted.

Luckily the farmer had sent in the mould to be tested for toxicity and when it tested negative but positive as penicillium roqueforti, the Whitestone Cheese chief executive was the lab's first port of call.

"Now we're bringing it into the cheese world, it's a totally different flavour it's quite mild," Mr Berry said.

He hopes to take the new creation to the World Cheese Championship in Wisconsin next March.

Kiwis should be able to get a taste of it earlier though as Whitestone Cheese hope to launch it here in January.

Breakfast's Hilary Barry gave the prototype the thumbs up this morning saying: "That is unbelievable cheese!"

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