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Oct 13, 2013 11:45 PM

Kapiti Kikorangi triple cream blue cheese [New Zealand]

Last month, a lunch at the New Zealand pop up restaurant, Waiheke Island Yacht Club, in San Francisco gave me my first taste of Kikorangi blue cheese.

A paste of the blue cheese was spread on the bottom bun of my burger. Tasting a little bit of it by itself, I would have said it was Gorgonzola dolcelatte blended with sweet butter. The similarity was so great, I even pulled my server aside to confirm that nothing had been substituted for the New Zealand cheese. She said that the spread used on the burgers combines the bits and odd shaped pieces left from the Kikorangi wheel after portioning out slices for the cheese plate orders.

Later I asked if I might have a little bit more of the cheese to re-taste and appreciate on its own. The base cream's quite sweet. With mild salting and softer blue character, the characterization of a gorgonzola + butter still seemed apt. My server said that Kikorangi is made with pasteurized milk, as is required of all cheeses made in NZ. However, she said that non-pasteurized cheeses may be imported. Further research afterwards revealed that this is a triple cream cheese, explaining the resemblance to butter.

It's worth a try if you can get your hands on some.

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  1. I'd trust *any* and all Kapiti dairy products for their quality. You should also try Kapiti's fig & manouka honey ice-cream - best in the world. I'd been to the Auckland store - thought I'd died and gone to heaven:

    9 Replies
    1. re: klyeoh

      Would if I could! Any of the other Kapiti cheeses you particularly like?

      So far I've been unsuccessful in locating any Kikorangi to purchase in the U.S. With any luck, some of our San Francisco cheesemongers will have tried it or heard of it and bring it in.

      Or maybe I need to try harder to get down there.

      1. re: Melanie Wong

        Lots! The Kahurangi blue cheese is divine. The Pakari smoked cheddar and Tuteremoana matured cheddar are both great. The Aorangi brie is very popular among Kiwis as well.

        1. re: klyeoh

          When I posted this yesterday, I really didn't think that I'd be able to talk to anyone about Kapiti. Thanks for coming forward. We see the occasional NZ cheddar in SF but I don't recall anything else and Kapiti was a new name for me.

          1. re: Melanie Wong

            Melanie, I think if you'd posted on the Australia/New Zealand board, you might get some enthusiastic responses. Kapiti is a household name in New Zealand, and especially in Auckland, with many of its products winning prizes for their quality.

            Although I'm of Singaporean descent, I grew up in Australia, so am familiar with the products of our Antipodean cousins as well. NZ's dairy products are very rich in flavour, and oftentimes better than those produced in Australia.

                1. re: Melanie Wong

                  didn't reply there but came here....

                  I LOVE kikorangi - the factory is about 40 mins north of Wellington (on the Kapiti coast unsurprisingly, not sure why kiyeoh said especially in Auckland, years ago you could only buy Kapiti cheese in the lower North Island).

                  As a university students, we'd stop there, eat free cheese samples (kikorangi always out) and buy ice cream (kapiti also does a great ice cream range).

                  It's an interesting factory because they produce both blue and non-blue cheeses and have a really complicated air flow system so that the blue cheese spores don't contaminate the rest of the cheese.

                  oh and you can also do a farm walk and pet sheep, cows if that's your thing...

                  1. re: piwakawaka

                    Thanks for sharing the love. I guess you'd agree that the pop-up restaurant folks put NZ's best cheese-foot forward by featuring Kikorangi.

                    Interesting that you mention sheep . . . I scanned through the cheeses listed on Kapiti's website and didn't see any that featured ewe's milk. Or maybe I missed 'em.

                    1. re: Melanie Wong

                      no I don't think they have them - I wasn't clear enough.

                      But the main factory is part of a complex called Lindale (it's between Paraparaumu and Waikanae). The complex has a petting zoo / farm walk/show with cow milking, sheep shearing, llamas etc etc. The Kapiti factory and shop are on the grounds of this larger complex. In the complex now there's also honey shops, gift shops etc etc but in the old days (1980-90s) it was really just Kapiti and the petting zoo. So if you're 18years old it was really all about cheese and ice cream!!

                      Haven't been there for *years* but suspect Kapiti might have outgrown or taken over Lindale now - it's definitely expanded substanially since I was last there...