The South African Cheese Festival arrives bigger and feta this year. Excuse the incoming puns, but it’s difficult to write about cheese without them. Turophiles, the little-known term for cheese lovers, annually flock to the festival to get their fix of old favourites, seek out some cheese rarities and savour limited edition batches. There’s definitely room for general food lovers to attend too, with specialist exhibitors and wine tastings on offer.
The last weekend of April (28th – 30th) sees Sandringham Farm in Stellenbosch transform into an outdoor culinary festival dedicated to cheese and everything that goes with it. A fee of R 160 gets you through the door, but if you’re serious about only having the finest cheese experience, the R 750 connoisseurs package is for you.
This is a celebration of all things cheese. Land of the Limburger. Place of the Provolone. A state of Stilton. The temple of Taleggio. What’s so brilliant about the cheese scene in South Africa is there are dozens of small, characterful towns hiding at least one skilled cheesemaker. From Kommetjie to Bapsfontein there are so many truly wonderful cheeses to discover that fly under the radar, and this festival is a great way to get to know them.
Here are some highlights to look forward to at the South African Cheese Festival 2017.
Taste and buy the most delicious cheese in the Checkers Cheese Emporium and choose from a vast selection of complimentary products in the Checkers Food Market, a mini store.
Rub shoulders with cheese makers in the new Agri-Expo Cheesery and find out the secrets of a good cheese.
See what celebrity chefs Nataniël, Carmen Niehaus and others dish up in the Agri-Expo Cooking Pot.
See master brewers Tim Godfrey and Stephan Lotz in action with cheese and beer in the Standard Bank Tasting Room.
Meet artisan cheese makers from all over the country.
Witness the culinary genius of chefs Aviv Liebenberg and Charné Loubser of The Private Hotel School while they cook with cheese and alternative products in the Cape Made Kitchen.
Cheese is so popular in Cape Town that the Saturday leg of the event is already sold out. But tickets are still available for Friday and Sunday. Do visit Computicket soon and brush up on your cheese puns. Every ticket purchased will go into a draw to win a bakkie – not a bakkie to hold your cheese in but a vehicle sponsored by Reeds. No tickets will be sold at the gates.
Photography South African Cheese Festival