Whoever the creative bod was who came up with that wonderful song about a chap called Ches and his mate called Dale should be inducted into the New Zealand Music Hall of Fame.

Because (although it has to be said it was a generational thing) just about every kid could sing it from start to finish back then.

And in the bars of Europe during the '60s and '70s (and I daresay in some cases today still) a tableful of imbibing Kiwis would at some stage of the visit break into "We are the boys from down on the farm ..."

The locals would roll their eyes and rotate their forefingers around their ears ... like they did the previous evening and the one before that.


Ches and Dale were cartoon country lads.

One wore blue overalls and the other wore a black T-shirt, a la Fred Dagg. And they both wore cocky's hats.

They were indeed the boys from down on the farm and they made the cheese that swamped the shelves of the dairies and later the growing landscape of supermarkets.

Their most popular efforts were those little foil-encased segments that made up a circle.

A staple ingredient of school lunches, and for a whole generation cheese was something which was ever-so-slightly orange in hue.

It hit the mark, no doubt about that, for this was a time when the likes of edam, gouda, brie and parmesan were nothing but mysterious foreign things. The basic vocabulary pretty well stopped at cheddar.

And the use was, to a degree, equally basic back in the days when Ches and Dale first appeared on television in simple black and white.

Cheese and Marmite sandwiches ... cheese on toast and grate some over the mashed spuds for a daring European touch to the evening meal.

Oh, and cheese and onion sandwiches weren't bad either.

Today there are entire cabinets in supermarket delis comprised of cheeses from every corner of the planet ... and to be honest some look like they should have stayed there.

A couple of years ago, down in Christchurch, we stumbled upon a sort of cheese-themed cafe and tried some of the types they made on the premises. They were, without exaggeration, simply superb.

What some people can do with milk and microbes and mild mould is astonishing.

But hey, it is believed the first cheeses were created about 5500BC so a fair bit of progress has been made, I daresay.

And the Egyptians were churning it out around 2000BC and the art of being able to do so must have carried much prestige as what appears to be chunks of cheese has been spotted on some Egyptian tomb images.

That was a long, long time before Ches and Dale were led to remark that "Boy it's got a mighty taste".

And like many "inventions" through the passing of time it is figured that the creation of cheese came about by accident ... that milk may have been stored in the stomach of a slaughtered animal as it was a sealed "container" and, of course, it reacted and curdled.

The fascinating thing also is that it is not confined to the use of cow's milk.

They make cheese from the milk of goats and buffalo ... and apparently one of the finest basic ingredients is sheep's milk.

As they were one of the earliest wild animals to effectively be domesticated sheep's cheese has been around for a very long time, and it continues to be created ... even here.

On Sunday evening, just in time for some grated cheese on the mash, Country Calender emerges with the flavour of sheep milk ... which then morphs into fine cheese thanks to a young Kiwi shepherd and a local Frenchman.


Ches and Dale would be impressed, and I bet they could sell it cheaper than Fon and Terra.

Country Calendar, TV1 at 7pm Sunday: I wonder if this sheep milk-generated cheese can boast that "there's no crumble there's no waste" ... but I am very sure it can boast that it does possess a mighty taste.


Border Security: America's Frontline: Prime at 7.30pm tonight: Rest assured President Donald Trump (still doesn't sound right saying that) would be an avid viewer of this often confrontational reality series.

He likely takes notes and mumbles while he watches "Get him out ... that one can stay ... but that guy has to go ..."

One segment from tonight's episode is slightly out of the ordinary, because normally the detector alarms go off when drugs or explosives are detected.

But in this case they go off after detecting radiation. A visitor from Pyongyang perchance?

Armageddon, TV2 at 7pm Friday: This is rather timely as I was reading last week that the NASA boffins were closely monitoring a meteorite the size of a house which was set to pass very close to us.

Good training and detection planning in case something bigger were to come dangerously closer, they said.

So then, anyone worried about that scenario should steer a course away from TV2 tonight as the lead role is not played by a star, but a large asteroid. Headed straight for earth.

But hey, when you hire Bruce Willis to sort it out you know there will be another bright and peaceful dawn tomorrow.