The next big thing

I was in my favourite German discount retailer recently, and there was a PDO I had not heard of – Manouri cheese. I grabbed a package and brought it home to try. It’s different to Feta, and apparently a lot of chefs prefer it to Feta now. Who knew? I liked it. It was crumbly and fresh and went well over a salad. I went and bought two more packages. Like Yotam Ottolenghi, I am interested in using it in more ways in cooking. I feel like I am right in with the cool crowd. It was in The Times, after all.  

So, in between watering the allotment and making cucumber salads, the Manouri cheese is getting drizzled with basil dressings and consumed. Like all good dairy, sometimes it’s just there to be discovered. 

Speaking of which, Julian Melletin of New Nutrition Business notes that Hu, a vegan brand, has added grass-fed milk chocolate to its range in the US. The use of the “grass fed” labelling is a key selling point for consumers, it seems. What is interesting is the consumer is now looking for sustainability, in the form of cows being free range and better for the environment.  

We have been discussing this for a long time in this industry. Our industry is local, good for the environment (cows being both consumers of inedible grasses and producers of useful manure), and one that should be embraced, rather than demonised by people who seem to want to push plants at any cost. Julian notes the new products have only eight ingredients, even with more complex flavours. That’s the beauty of dairy – it is simply good, after all. No need to add extensive ingredients and processing, in order to make something taste as dairy products do naturally.  

(Ed. note: See our September issue for the full coverage of Julian Melletin’s discussion of consumer psychology and grass-fed dairy) 

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