The SA Cheese Festival starts this Friday and, as always, I will be making a beeline to the smaller producers at the show. I generally find these more interesting than the more commercial operations, which tend, after all, to produce cheese that’s available in shops anyway! As in previous years (see 2010 and 2011), in preparation I’ve done a little digging to find out what I can about the small producers who’ll be at the festival this year (some new, some we’ve seen before).
The Small Producers – in alphabetical order:
Alpine Goats Cheese AKA Dragon Fly Farm (Napier, WESTERN CAPE)
Absolutely love this cheese, made from organic goats milk on Dragon Fly Farm in Napier. My favourite has always been the wasabi flavour, but who knows what they have up their sleeves for the festival.
Anysbos Cheese (Botrivier, WESTERN CAPE)
I don’t know much about this cheese, other than that it comes from a farm in the Botrivier area. Owners Sue and Johan Heyns run a boutique cheese business there that’s producing a variety of cheeses, including the unique Goat Milk Camembert.
Desiree Kingwill Cheese (Greyton, WESTERN CAPE)
I stand to be corrected, but I think these are the awesome colourful wax-coated cow’s milk cheeses I always look out for at the Greyton Morning Market when I”m there… (my favourite: stinging nettle). They are fantastic, and keep for months!
Kleinfontein Cheese (Overberg, WESTERN CAPE)
100% goats milk cheeses from Kleinfontein Farm in the Overberg Region. The farm, previously primarily used for wheat-growing, was more recently diversified to include ostrich- and cattle-farming and owners Liana and Jako Cilliers began making goatsmilk cheeses a few years ago.
Laerskool Buffeljagsrivier (Buffeljagsrivier nr Swellendam, WESTERN CAPE)
In 2010, a donation by a local dentist in Swellendam funded the creation of a small cheese factory at the Buffelsjagsrivier Primary. The cheese made there went on to win a prize for best ‘goatsmilk cottage cheese without additions’ at that year’s Agri Expo Cheese Championships. I find it hard to get really good cottage cheese (especially goats milk cheese), so I’m very keen to taste this for myself!
Langbaken Karoo Cheese (Groot Karoo, WESTERN CAPE)
This looks amazing – handcrafted cheese from a small herd of Jersey cows in the Groot Karoo (made from unpasteurised milk). There’s a lovely writeup on Eat In with more details (they play music to their cows at milking time!)
Mestervic Cheese (Stellenbosch, WESTERN CAPE)
Contact: Emile Esterhuizen at emile.esterhuizen(at)gmail.com
Norwegian-style cheeses made from a home kitchen in Stellenbosch.
Pépé Charlot Cheesemaker (GAUTENG)
Goats cheeses from up north. Not too much info on the website, but it looks like these are soft goats cheeses, usually available at selected markets and outlets in Johannesburg.
Taaibosch Kaas – (WESTERN CAPE)
Not sure where they’re located, but they produce pressed Cottage Cheese, covered with spice, Cheddar and Gouda.
Udderly Delicious (Darling, WESTERN CAPE)
e: e: candash(at)mweb.co.za
These lovely, gentle cheeses are hand-made in Darling. I first encountered the ‘Skattie’ and ” at a Slow Food event at Lelieblom Farm two years ago, and more recently spotted them at The Palms Market. Look out for the delicious salamis, too.
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It’s an imperfect list – if there are any I’ve missed, or any of my information is incorrect, please leave a comment below!
See you at the tasting tables…
SA Cheese Festival 2012 – Event Details
Location: Sandringham (half way between Cape Town and Paarl on the N1)
Dates: Friday 27 to Monday 30 April 2012
Times: Friday to Sunday 10am to 6pm / Monday 10am to 5pm
Tickets: R110 pp per day – includes entry to this fabulous festival, a shopping bag, festival programme, tastings and inspirational demonstrations by some of South Africa’s top food icons. Senior citizens discount: R90 pp per day. FREE entry for children 13 years and under. Available via Computicket. NO TICKETS AT THE GATE.