Barrys Bay Rustic Macaroni & Cheese




130g Butter, plus more for dish

1 cups cream

2 cup milk

½ cup all-purpose flour

2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

3 cloves garlic

1 chopped onion

1 teaspoon fresh rosemary (finely chopped)

200g Barrys Bay Wainui Special Vintage, shredded

50g Barrys Bay Canterbury Red, shredded

1 bag macaroni noodles

½ cup of Breadcrumbs

6 fresh basil leaves

(optional) 6 strips of streaky bacon



Preheat oven to 180° C. Butter a 9×13 casserole dish and set aside. Take cream and butter out of the refrigerator to bring to room temperature.

Melt 100g butter in a large saucepan over medium heat.  Add 3 cloves of diced garlic, 1 chopped onion and a pinch of fresh rosemary.  When onions begin to brown, add flour. Cook, whisking for 1 minute. While whisking, slowly pour in cream and milk and add 1 teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon pepper.  Continue cooking (and whisking), until the mixture thickens. Remove from heat. Stir in 150g  Barrys Bay Wainui Special Vintage cheese, until you achieve a rich blended cheese sauce.  Put aside the remaining shredded cheese to be added at the end.

Cook macaroni for slightly shorter than the manufacturer’s directions, leaving the noodles just undercooked (approx. 2 minutes less). Drain pasta and rinse under cold water. Add salt and pepper to taste and 30g butter. Return the noodles into the cheese sauce and stir until well mixed.  **Dice cooked bacon and add to macaroni and cheese if desired.

Pour macaroni and cheese into your grease casserole dish. Sprinkle remaining mixture of shredded cheese (50g Wainui Special Vintage and 50g Canterbury Red) on top to give a bit of orange colouring to the dish.  Finish with a handful of bread crumbs, just enough to cover the top of the dish. Bake until the breadcrumbs have created a golden crust on top, about 30 minutes.  Remove from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes.  Garnish with fresh basil and rosemary.

Fun facts about our cheese and the way we make it.

Being left on the shelf is nothing to be ashamed of.
Extra ageing of cheese allows big flavours to develop. We age our cheese on white pine shelves because white pine doesn’t impart any extra, unwanted flavours into the cheese.

Crystals are the sign of a fine cheddar.
If you discover a crystal-like substance on the surface and inside your aged cheddar, don’t be alarmed. This is a good thing and a natural consequence of a well-aged cheese. It is caused by the calcification and crystallisation of milk sugars.

How to best eat a true blue.
Next time you feel like eating blue cheese, leave it out of the fridge for at least two hours. Even though our Peninsula Blue has already spent a good amount of time ‘blueing up’ in our blue room, it tastes even better at room temperature.

Never underestimate a cheese cutter.
A cheese cutter’s job is to hand cut a wheel of cheese into pieces that are the same size and weight. A simple enough job, you would think. But not all cheese wheels are the same – they can vary in weight by up to 3kgs, which means the cutter is always having to adjust the cut.

How to settle a cream compromise.
To make our Havarti extra creamy, we hand skim the cream off the top of the milk used to make Edam, then add this to the whole milk used to make Havarti. This is also why Edam is lower in fat than other cheeses.

What makes the many holes in Maasdam?
Actually, they’re called ‘eyes’ and are the result of a secondary fermentation process. Maasdam wheels are placed in a room where the temperature is raised to 16 degrees. This causes small explosions in the cheese wheels, which form the eyes that are characteristic of this style. Once they are fully ‘blown’, the wheels are coated in wax.

Cheese tourists could be attracted by South Island factory tours, academic says

November 9, 2015 –

Opening farms and factories to cheese-lovers could attract tourists on to South Island food trails.

Canterbury and South Island cheese merchants could benefit from cheese’s “pulling power”, doctoral candidate Francesc Fuste Forne says.

Forne, from University of Girona in Spain, has ended six months at Lincoln University where he has compared New Zealand’s cheese tourism to rural Catalonia.

Tourists might visit New Zealand for up to 20 days but not visit dairy farms or factories to see the link between milk and cheese-making, he said.

People wanted a sense of local culture and cheese was “part of the identity of South Island landscapes”, he said.

Tastings, cheese-making displays and cheesemonger stories could give extra value to cheese production and reinforce the “100-per-cent Canterbury made” brand, Forne said.

Lincoln University doctoral exchange student Francesc Fuste Forne sees cheese as a way to promote “100-per-cent Canterbury” food production.

Farmers markets were selling most of Canterbury’s craft cheese, as well as butter, yoghurt or milk itself. Cheese attracted tourists in the North Island at spots like Puhoi Valley Cafe and Cheese Store in Auckland.

The South Island had some of the best outlets, such as Barrys Bay Cheese on Banks Peninsula and Gibbston Valley Cheese in Queenstown, he said.

Canterbury food producers had much to offer. Food tourism was mainly wine-based but there was growing interest in unfamiliar products and novel cooking methods, such as hangi.

Cheese was being sold alongside hazelnuts, wine and berries.

Barrys Bay Cheese owner Mike Carey said it seemed ever since the “food miles” carbon footprint debate, people were more interested in how food was made and where it originated.

His customers ranged from simply curious to “enormously knowledgeable”. The shop was open year-round and it noticeable how people associated it with previous trips to the peninsula.

The company originated in the late 1900s and the existing factory was built in 1852.  Carey had run it for 10 years and felt like a “guardian” of cheesemaking in the area.

Some of his trade was from Akaroa cruise ships, although he had to tell some customers the shop was too far for a walk.

Forne said farmers markets had a key role in reaching market niches, exploring new tastes and selling to locals and visitors. Projects such as the Canterbury food and wine trails had been adding to this entrepreneurship, he said.

Traditional rural businesses needed to be productive enough to compete in markets that had increasing amounts of “authentic local produce”.

Catalonia did not market its cheese particularly well. Farm retailers usually needed a government ‘region of origin’ certificate to do well, he said.


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Cheese whiz!

June 30, 2015 – Craig Church from Barrys Bay Cheese takes out Primary ITO Aspiring Cheesemaker award

The Primary ITO Aspiring Cheesemaker award at the national NZ Champions of Cheese Awards is the “first national award” that Barrys Bay cheesemaker Craig Church has ever won.

“It felt really good!!” Craig explains, saying that he only jotted down some speech notes that night.

A cheesemaker at Barrys Bay Cheese on Banks Peninsula, Craig was supported by Head Cheesemaker Peter Corbett as well as owners Mike and Catherine Carey and Sales and Marketing coordinator Kelsey Lovett from the Barrys Bay team during the evening.

Craig enjoys cheesemaking because he likes creating things. “There’s a bit of chemistry behind it,” Craig explains. “Different temperatures and acids affect the cheese. Milk powder is also used to standardise different varieties of cheeses.”

However, Craig says the best thing about his job is the people.

“I appreciate working very closely with our Head Cheesemaker, Pete. His willingness to pass on knowledge keeps me learning and has made my time at Barrys Bay Cheese really enjoyable. It’s a satisfying job because each make is slightly different depending on the variety of cheese we are producing, and in the end, you can see and taste your creation!”
Moving up the ranks within Barrys Bay, Craig started out in the packing room, assisted with orders and has now been working as a cheesemaker for four years full time.

Having sampled other careers from forestry, through to labouring and building, Craig feels like he has now found his true calling and the Aspiring Cheesemaker award is the cheese on top!
As for the future, Primary ITO is developing an apprenticeship scheme for the cheesemaking industry that will encompass four levels of training. The Level 2 Entry qualification will cover the generic food processing industry, giving an introduction into the different food processing avenues. The Level 3 and 4 qualifications, and the Level 5 components, will be specific to the cheesemaking industry. The ITO plans to launch these new qualifications this year.
For more information or to source images of Craig or Barrys Bay Cheese, or for further information about Primary ITO, please contact:

Anna Lindsay, Primary ITO Marketing Communications Adviser [email protected] or call (04) 382 9626.


Barrys Bay Cheese wins New Zealand’s supreme award

March 7, 2014 –

Storms may have lashed Banks Peninsula over the last week with power blackouts common, but the spotlight was on Barrys Bay Cheese as it took out 11 medals including six golds and the coveted Countdown Champion of Champions Award at the New Zealand Champions of Cheese Awards.

The hand-crafted Aged Gouda was described by judges as boasting tropical fruit flavours and was a favourite with the entire panel. Barrys Bay also won golds for its Maasdam, Peppered Havarti, Gouda, Aged Gouda, Gruyere and Nettle Gouda.

The judging panel was made up of 28 of the country’s most experienced cheese connoisseurs and included over 430 New Zealand specialty cheeses. Judge Smith rated New Zealand cheese as “ranking with the best in the world, with certain styles indisputably world class.”

Mike and Catherine Carey, who bought Barrys Bay Cheese in 2005, said they were stunned and thrilled at the win.

“Traditionally Barrys Bay has been English cheddar makers but the demand for Dutch-style cheese had led us down a path of Dutch-style cheesemaking. We have been focusing on making improvements to our Gouda make and to that end have been liaising with North Island Dutch cheesemakers.

“This is a great credit to all our staff. At the peak of our production season we have up to 10 staff. Due to the isolated location of our factory and the difficulty in finding fully trained traditional cheesemakers our team are largely self-taught.

“Pete Corbitt, our head cheesemaker, must take much credit for the overall award. He has spent time meeting with other Dutch cheese makers around New Zealand and hosting them here at Barrys Bay, learning the art of producing a quality Gouda,” Catherine said.

The Careys are not your normal cheese makers, having come from the electronics and motor vehicle assembly sectors.

“It has been a lot of hard work and a massively steep learning curve but our passion for the product kept us going. The recognition through these awards is hugely satisfying,” she said.

Barrys Bay Cheese produced its first cheddar in 1895 and was one of nine small, family-owned dairy co-operatives dotted around Banks Peninsula. Barrys Bay milk comes from local cows and they still make a range of handcrafted cheeses the traditional way, using milk from grass-fed, Friesian cows. They are the only New Zealand cheese maker still making cheddar using the original cheddaring process.

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