A cultured encounter

10.19.10 | 1 Comment

A while back, when I was making cheese at home, somehow I got connected to a few cheese enthusiasts and/or professionals via Twitter. They all came from various places, but most of them are based in New Zealand. Hmm how quaint… I knew we’d be visiting this fine country in a few months.

When Justin and I arrived in Auckland, we had no plans and made zero research on what to do. We had the vague idea we wanted to see the scenery and the other vague idea of checking out the cheesemaking scene.

Arriving in the southern part of the North Island, we were headed to a “holiday park” (fancy campground) in Petone, a few minutes away from Wellington. Hmm, Petone… that name was familiar. I remembered that I was following the tweets of a cheese shop owner who also made some cheese herself and taught some classes locally… in Petone! We randomly turned down a street looking for the holiday park and I said to Justin: “I betcha that cheese shop is on this street”. A couple of blocks later, bam! We drove by it! Incredible. I immediately sent a message to Wendy telling her we would come by the shop to visit.

And so today, we went to meet Wendy in her lovely cheese shop named Cultured. We were welcomed with her smile and warm personality as well as with delicious coffee (uhhh was it a “flat white”? I still can’t remember) along with a taste of the Lyttelton Blue and Gaal Chèvre accompanied with some sumptuous dessert olives… what a treat! We chatted about cheese, traveling, the container ship ride and wwoofing.

Delicious and beautiful flat white coffee… I think.

An hour and a half later we were sent home with an Over The Moon washed rind Galactic Gold, an O.M.G. Triple Creme Brie and also got a piece of Kingsmead’s OpakiManchego and Wendy’s famous Tiramisu made with homemade Mascarpone. Guess what was for dinner tonight?

Wendy’s cheese case.

We had a wonderful time and left with the thought that this encounter would not have happened without the internet, reminding one not to underestimate the serendipitous value of social media.

Wendy and Stephanie… bringing the virtual ties to real life.

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