80s music sounds so 80s now. But in the 80s, it just sounded like music. The iconic power ballad ‘Total Eclipse of the Heart’ changed music. While originally written for Meatloaf, Bonnie Tyler recorded it and made music history, and a super weird music video to boot. Maasdam joined the international cheese club at the end of the 1980s, the idea being to mash up an Emmental – with its large holes – with a mild Gouda. Like ‘Total Eclipse of the Heart’ it quickly became a bestseller – both classic crowd pleasers with big, beautiful bright eyes. To make those distinctive holes or eyes in the Maasdam, the cheesemaker adds propionic acid bacteria to the milk during the cheesemaking process. It produces carbon dioxide as the cheese matures, making hollows or holes in the cheese. The size and number of these bright eyes depends on how much bacteria is used, the storage temperature and how long they’re left to party – not that long, coming to market at about 4-6 weeks old. Meyer Cheese started its New Zealand cheese journey in the 80s with a family on a dairy farm in the Waikato producing farm cheese from their cows. Meyer Maasdam is a great melter, creamy and sweet with a buttery, nutty taste. It likes to party with fruit – especially bananas. Nothing I can say, a total eclipse of the heart.
Calum Hodgson is cheesemonger at Massimo’s Italian Cheeses