A lively customer walked straight for me this week, extremely eager to tell me something. He had a manic look in his otherwise friendly eyes and I waited with trepidation for what was coming next. 'I'm 42 and I never knew' he exclaimed. He waited impatiently, anticipating my reaction. On realizing that he wasn't going to kill me with the block of cheese that he was holding aloft I offered a reply. 'You're 42?' I said. The man was looking positively radiant and not a day over 30. This was not the answer he wanted and he brushed it aside immediately. 'I just never knew' he repeated, a bemused look on his face somewhere between concern and awe. I finally ventured with the response he was waiting for. 'Never knew what?' I said. 'I'm 42 and I never realized that cheddar could actually taste so good. I never believed the hype. I thought that ordinary cheddar, cheap cheddar that I usually buy was worth the price and that there was no difference. I've literally spent my whole life EATING BORING CHEDDAR' he said animatedly.
The piece of cheese that he was holding above his head like a caveman wielding a prehistoric tool was Fonterra, New Zealand Sharp Cheddar. If you put hundreds of cheddar's in a line, it is pretty good. Not the best, but nowhere near the bottom of the pile either. This gentleman with the secret aging cream was amazed at the price as well as the taste and on comparison he realized he was actually getting more 'better cheddar' per pound than his 'usual cheap cheddar.' Once he had made his point we exchanged pleasantries and off he went on his merry way. I never did find out what cheap cheddar he had been eating all those years!
As a company, Fonterra is pretty big. However, big doesn't necessarily mean bad. They are committed to responsible dairy farming and they have projects in place to promote sustainable farming, preserving wetlands and taking care of cattle. The cheese is made with milk from grass-fed cows. It pretty much melts in your mouth, it's incredibly flavorful and it leaves you thinking 'I'm just going to have to have another piece!'