In the latest winter readers' issue of TASTE, we asked you to share your best food merchants from around the country. Here are your favourite cheese shops.
This week we celebrate your favourite places to try everything from the crème de la crème of Camembert to perfectly crumbly chevin and piqaunt pecorino.
Here are the VIP's (Very Important Producers) of cheeses you rate as great:
CREMALAT CHEESE AND WINE
“Tired of the normal cheese soufflé, I wanted to make something different for a dinner party and discovered Cremalat’s creamy dolce latte Gorgonzola,” recalls reader Willie Cloete. “My pear and dolce latte soufflé with Madagascan vanilla was born and it’s been a winner ever since!”
In addition to the much-lauded Gorgonzola, Cremalat stocks hand-pulled mozzarella, bocconcini balls and winning Bries. You can also stock up on charcuterie and top-notch Italian wines.
- Corner Martin Crescent and Sam Green Road, Greenhills, Johannesburg; tel (011) 828-7838.
“Fairview creates a product that is daring, but with a sense of tradition,” says reader Jan Hendrik van der Westhuizen. “My all-time favourite is the creamy crottin goat’s-milk cheese.”
Other Fairview fromages that have secured a loyal following – and more than a few accolades – include the chevin log rolled in black pepper and paprika, the mild, slightly savoury Brie and the Blue Rock Gorgonzolastyle cheese.
Jan Hendrik adds that no trip to the farm is complete without a visit to the Goatshed Restaurant, where you can kick back with a bottle of wine and a cheese platter.
KLEIN RIVER CHEESE AND DAIRY
“Stanford has really authentic suppliers who make some fabulous products, and one of these is Klein River,” says reader Kay Dawson. “Their Gruyère has won many awards and the 12-month matured variety is truly fantastic.”
The small family-owned business run by Riaan and Shelley Lourens and daughter Sandy also produces truly delicious Colby, a slightly sweet Cheddar, as well as a mild and creamy Leiden studded with caraway seeds. All cheeses are on offer to taste and are made on site.
LOOKING FOR A WINNING CHEESE?
THE REAL CHEESE
“They have a wonderful variety of artisanal cheeses, with no additives, preservatives or artificial colorants,” says Cape Town reader Pippa Caldwell. “In fact, they offer just what they promise: real cheese with real flavour made according to organic principles.
You can order the exact quantities you want, so there’s no waste, and I like the fact that you know precisely where your produce came from, almost down to the individual cow. Plus, they’re friendly and well-priced, and full of good advice.”
Pippa’s not the only one singing the praises of this popular cheese shop: it’s won several industry awards for its great range and informative, personalised service.
- Bishop’s Corner, 217 Lower Main Road, Observatory, Cape Town; tel: (021) 448-8041.
“I must admit, I wasn’t the biggest fan of goat’s-milk cheese until I tasted Swissland’s deliciously soft and creamy St Maure,” says reader Katherine Taylor. “The texture and taste is not unlike my favourite Camembert and I find that the cheese pairs perfectly with the preserved green figs that my husband regularly makes.”
Set in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands, the lush estate on which the cheese shop is located houses a herd of mischievous goats whose milk is used in everything from the pleasantly tangy, ash-coated Drakensberg cheese and perfectly crumbly chevin, to the piquant pecorino and mild Isinyani.
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