Mercer is one of those places you could blink and miss on State Highway 1 as you hurtle en route from Auckland to Hamilton or beyond. In fact I’ve only ever stopped at Mercer to use the loo or get petrol.
This cute little Mercer Cheese shop stands alone on Roose Rd in Mercer. It’s easy to find – just take the first left when you come of the motorway before the glitz of McDonalds and the petrol station overwhelm you.
The funny little shop is stocked with huge round cheese wheels made by local Dutch farmer Albert Alferink. He used to milk his own cows then make his cheese, but these days he buys the milk from local farmers and sticks to the knitting of cheese making.
I tried a sliver of cumin cheese, pepper cheese and pecorino. They have a Parmesan which is spelt Armesan – as the lady eloquently explained, Albert took the ‘p’ because this parmesan, while it tastes like the real thing, is not as hard.
I ended up with three varieties for about $14 – after the gentleman ahead of me purchased over $80 worth. Right, glass of port anyone?