The Best Cheeses in South Africa The MzansiBride

Winona Griggs

The Greatest Cheeses in South Africa

Welcome to the wonderful world of cheese! Did you know that cheesemaking has been around for thousands of years? Legend has it that it was even introduced to ancient Greece before wine! Speaking of wine, we have some fantastic cheese and wine pairings for you to try. Whether you prefer a crisp sauvignon blanc or a rich cabernet sauvignon, there’s a cheese that will perfectly complement your wine. We have a great selection of cheeses from well-known cheeseries, as well as some smaller, artisanal cheese-makers who are creating unique and delicious cheeses. To guide us in our cheesy journey, we’ve enlisted the help of Michael Bampfield-Duggan from Wine Concepts to suggest the perfect wine to go with each cheese. So, if you love cheese as much as we do, grab a glass of wine and let’s explore the incredible cheese scene in South Africa together!

1. Fairview Blue Rock

Taste: This cheese is firm and has a full-flavored, Roquefort-style taste. It has a creamy texture and a sharp bite, which is achieved when the mold interacts with the fats to create that traditional “blue cheese” flavor. Made: This cheese is made in Paarl. Delicious Uses: It is absolutely delicious when used in a four-cheese pasta sauce or on a cheeseboard. For a beautiful presentation, you can use a large black slate tile and write the names of the cheeses in white chalk. Cost: The price is R18 per 100 grams. Wine pairing: For the perfect wine pairing, consider Noble Late Harvest or Joostenberg Chenin Blanc.

Taste: When you take a bite of this cheese, you’ll notice a slightly grainy texture. It has a strong tangy taste that will wake up your taste buds. But the best part is the amazing complexity of flavors that unfold as you savor it. It starts off fruity, but then you’ll also detect earthy and nutty notes that linger on your palate.

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Made: This cheese is proudly made in Stanford, where expert cheesemakers put their heart and soul into creating this culinary delight.

It’s delicious: There are so many ways to enjoy this delicious cheese. Sprinkle it over your favorite salads or pasta dishes to add a burst of flavor. It also makes a perfect addition to quiches and savory tarts. And if you’re planning a fondue night, this cheese is a popular choice that will impress your guests.

Cost: You can get your hands on this delectable cheese for the price of R189 per kilogram.

Wine pairing: To elevate your dining experience even further, pair this cheese with a bottle of Vondeling Erica Shiraz. The combination of flavors will create a harmonious explosion on your taste buds.

3. Woolworths Duetto

Taste This mascarpone is a soft and creamy cheese with a delicate flavor. It is layered with preserved figs and pecan nuts, creating a delicious combination of textures and tastes. Enjoy it on a thick slice of toasted ciabatta, topped with a green fig preserve. It’s a delightful treat that will satisfy your taste buds.

Taste This cheese is a bit grainy and has a very strong cheddar flavor. It has a lingering bite that adds to its unique taste.
Made This cheese is made in Knysna, a place known for its cheese production.
It’s delicious This cheese tastes delicious when paired with something sweet to balance out its strong flavors. Try it with caramelized pears or chili-tomato jam on some plain crackers. It can also be used to make a grown-up Mac ‘n’ Cheese or added to a cheeseburger for a tasty twist.
Cost The price of this cheese is R125 per kilogram.
Wine pairing For a perfect balance of flavors, enjoy this cheese with a glass of Doran Pinotage.

5. Langbaken Karoo Crumble

Taste: Imagine biting into a mature hard cheese that has a dry, crumbly texture. It’s not only tangy but also leaves a slightly fruity aftertaste that lingers on your palate.

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Made: This delightful cheese is created in the quaint town of Williston, nestled in the Northern Cape.

It’s delicious: Let me tell you, this cheese is simply divine when used in a luscious cheese sauce over cauliflower or to add some extra flavor to a comforting broccoli soup. And, of course, it’s a delightful addition to any cheeseboard when paired with preserved fruits and nuts.

Cost: You might think something this heavenly would break the bank, but you’ll be pleasantly surprised to find out that it’s only R198 per kilogram.

Wine pairing: If you’re in the mood for a delightful wine pairing, I highly recommend the Ken Forrester Petit Chenin. Its crisp and refreshing flavors perfectly complement the taste of this cheese.

6. Van Gaalen Boerenkaas

Taste: Picture a Gouda-style cheese that has been lovingly aged for two months. It’s softer and sweeter than your typical Cheddar and is made with high-quality cow’s milk.

Made: This delicious cheese is crafted in the scenic village of Skeerpoort, situated in the North West Province.

It’s delicious: The versatility of this cheese knows no bounds! It’s fantastic on sandwiches, adds a delightful gooeyness to pizzas, and enhances the flavors of lasagnes with its great melting properties.

Cost: You might expect such a high-quality cheese to come with a hefty price tag, but you’ll be pleasantly surprised to know that it’s available for only R210 per kilogram.

Wine pairing: When it comes to finding the perfect wine to accompany this cheese, look no further than the Anura Sangiovese. Its rich and robust flavors beautifully complement the taste profile of this cheese.

7. Le Petite France Camembert

Taste: This cheese is a delectable treat, crafted with love from Jersey milk. It’s rich, creamy, and free from any hormones, additives, or chemicals.
Origin: Made in Hilton, KwaZulu-Natal.
Pairings: Enjoy it with ripe figs and nuts for a Banting (Tim Noakes) dessert.
Price: The cost is R42 per wheel (280 – 290g).
Wine pairing: It pairs perfectly with the unwooded Chardonnay from Glen Carlou.

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8. Dalewood Fromage Huguenot

Taste: Indulge in the intense flavors and nutty nuances of this semi-hard, brushed-rind cheese.
Origin: Made in Simondium, Western Cape.
Pairings: Whether you’re snacking the Tim Noakes way, adding it to a potato gratin, or creating a party cheeseboard, this cheese is the perfect choice.
Price: It is priced at R176 per kilogram.
Wine pairing: The Blaauwklippen Zinfandel complements this cheese beautifully.

9. Simonsberg Mature Gouda

Taste: Tangy, tasty, and firm. You’ll love it in lunch boxes, with cheese scones, on a cheeseboard, or for 5 o’clock snacking. This cheese is made in Stellenbosch.

Insider tip: If you’re in Stellenbosch, make sure to check out their factory shop. They have a wide range of cheeses, including cambrini and feta, all at excellent prices.

Cost: It’s only R41 for a 400g pack.

Wine pairing: Try it with The High Road Classique, a Bordeaux-style red blend.

10. Cremalat Fresh Asiago

Taste: This cheese is fresh, creamy, and slightly spicy with a light color. It’s made in Johannesburg.

It’s delicious: Use it in a croque-monsieur or -madame, or in a potato gratin.

Cost: It’s priced at R168 per kilogram.

Wine pairing: Pair it with Usana Pinot Gris.

11. Cremalat Gorgonzola

Try This: This cheese is special. It’s made in Johannesburg and has a rich and creamy texture with just a hint of sharpness. It’s perfect spread on crackers or used in a unique soufflé recipe with Gruyère. Plus, at R125 per kilogram, it’s a great value. Pair it with Nederburg Special Late Harvest wine for a delightful combination.

Now, let me tell you about the SA Cheese Festival. It’s the place to go if you want to stock up on a variety of delicious cheeses. You won’t want to miss it!

Wine recommendations provided by Michael Bampfield-Duggan of Wine Concepts.

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