I’ve been told I sometimes have a classy way with words. One time at cheese camp, I made a dumb joke re sheep shagging to a visiting foreign journalist and inadvertently renamed Tinui Blue – a sheep’s milk cheese made by Kingsmeade – as Sheep Shagger Blue. Soon wholesale customers started calling to ask who makes Sheep Shagger Blue, and then customers visiting specifically requested Sheep Shagger Blue for their weekend wine and nibbles. So, I ended up using both names Tinui Blue, aka Sheep Shagger Blue. Tinui Blue is a proper wet woolly jumper of a cheese, all lanolin and farmy, transporting the taster to the Kingsmeade paddock in Masterton to bring the sheep in for milking. It’s genuinely trippy – a cheese that is best tasted throughout its maturation. When young, it’s bouncy, delicate and sweet. When old, it has an identity crisis and morphs into a kind of blue pecorino, hardened and salty like a pirate looking for rum. For a country known worldwide for wearing and eating sheep, it’s interesting why so few sheep’s milk cheeses in New Zealand get any recognition. Not many people know that I managed to get Tinui Blue served on the inflight cheeseboard offered on an international airline for three months. That New Zealand’s national carrier doesn’t do more with New Zealand cheese is a missed opportunity for food adventure. Tinui Blue is potent yet approachable and good for a proper yarn. CALUM HODGSON – THE CURD NERD