Life is made up of small pleasures. But while they may seem small, the ripple effects of these small pleasures can prove extraordinary and can sometimes mean a whole lot. It’s a small world for our cheesemakers – with the sum of small efforts repeated day in and day out – and I want to taste all of it. I’m an aspiring Waipū local, visiting often to ground myself, light fires, connect with the birds and get barefoot in the landscape. Small, simple pleasures. My family stay at ‘our’ bach up the hill, an Airbnb we always stay at because it’s small and perfectly formed. Just like Crottin de Chèvre Waipū – a pocket-sized treasure of cheese pleasure with that quintessential lactic goat’s milk tang. A wrinkly Waipū interpretation of a French classic, it captures the diverse flavours and endeavours of its Waipū home. It’s an excellent choice for a picnic or when you want to devour the entire cheese, just like the farmers and shepherds did in their fields. It is the small cheese that can be eaten at various stages of its maturity – from young, creamy and runny, or matured for shaving or grilling. Well-aged, it is hard and pungent. There’s a lot of deliciousness in a Crottin de Chèvre Waipū. This creation and pursuit of small culinary pleasures inspired Belle Chèvre’s David and Jennifer Rodrigue to open their own small yet perfectly formed cheese shop and deli – Origin Northland in Waipū – packed with a whole lot of locally produced and grown deliciousness. The ripple effects of their food adventures are proving extraordinary.


Calum Hodgson is cheesemonger at Massimo’s Italian Cheeses nz_curd_nerd