Award for 'groundbreaking' deer milk product

A deer milk product is attracting increasing interest from New Zealand restaurants.

The product has been developed by Pāmu  Farms (Landcorp ) and won the 'Novel Food or Beverage' award at this week's Massey University New Zealand Food Awards.

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Pāmu Chief Executive Steve Carden said the awards reward innovation, which makes the win very meaningful.

"We spent over three years testing and trialling deer milk and have been incredibly pleased with the reception it has received amongst the restaurant industry," he said.

He said while broad appeal for desserts was expected, there's been a range of savoury applications by chefs across the country. 

"Some chefs have even created deer-milk cocktails," said Mr Carden.

Pāmu deer milk is described as 'a unique and luxurious ingredient that contributes a creamy texture to recipes of all kinds.'

Pamu Deer Milk Creme Brulee
Pamu Deer Milk Creme Brulee Photo credit: Supplied

It is already on the menus of some top restaurants across the country, including Amisfield (Queenstown), Charley Noble (Wellington) and Cibo (Auckland).

"We're adding value to the existing New Zealand agriculture infrastructure by championing a new way of farming -deer milk is a perfect example of this," said Mr Carden. 

He is excited about the future of New Zealand agriculture.

"New super premium products from a totally new farm system that require lots of what New Zealand farmers do best  innovation," he said.

This year's New Zealand Food Awards considered 67 products from over 50 companies and featured a panel of culinary judges including Bite magazine's Ray McVinnie, chef Geoff Scott, World Kitchen television host and chef Nici Wickes, and New Zealand's only certified cicerone (beer expert), Josh Scott.