South Cape Mini Camembert
Price: $3.99 (125g)
South Cape Mini Camembert came out on top, with Castello White a close second. Old Telegraph Road Triple Cream, the specialty brand in the category – also the most expensive – came sixth behind the pre-packaged supermarket cheese. However, this was the only triple cream brie in the category. According to one of our experts, Russell Smith, triple creams are difficult to make and in this case the cheesemaker had done a reasonable job. This does highlight that expensive deli cheeses aren’t always better than supermarket products. Having said that, Coles Camembert came dead last with a score well below all the other brands.
Mainland Epicure Cheddar
Price: $4.92 (200g)
Mainland Epicure was the winner here, described by our experts as a “good, strong, robust cheddar”. It’s also one of the cheapest in the category. It did, however, show development of calcium lactate crystals (hard white lumps) on the surface and throughout the cheese, which produced mixed responses from our judges. The crystals result in a slight crunchiness and a sharp flavour. Clover Creek, the specialty cheddar cheese, came a close second, boasting a long, fruity taste. Jindi Vintage Cheddar came last. It claims to be cheddar, but on breaking the wax seal our experts discovered it is, in fact, a club cheddar – an example of incorrect labelling. It was rated as a cheddar though, hence its very poor score.
King Island Dairy Roaring 40s Blue
Price: $11.54 (208g)
Old Telegraph Road Sapphire Blue
Price $11.52 (186g)
The King Island Roaring 40s Blue and the specialty cheese, Old Telegraph Road Sapphire Blue, tied for first place. These are by far the most expensive cheeses in the category − however, the rest scored significantly lower so, when it comes to blue cheese, it seems you get what you pay for. A decent budget option is Aldi’s Emporium Selection Smooth Blue, which came second with a score of 14.625 out of 20. Overall, many of the cheeses we tested in this category lacked blue flavour and had an uneven distribution of blue mould.