FOODSTUFF: Cape Town’s five of the best cheese shops

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Try my list when next looking for great local or imported cheese:

Aroundcheese. Aside from her Waterfront stand, Jane Selander sells artisan cheeses at four local markets. ‘Instead of supplying delis, I sell to the public. People can buy only what they need,’ she says. Find only naturally produced South African cheese from artisanal farmers, including a tangy Grana or Montagu cheddar (Selander says locals generally enjoy stronger cheese). The Karoo Swiss, Blue or Crumble appeals particularly to foreigners. Sat at Oranjezicht City Farm Market, Neighbourgoods Market and Oude Libertas in Stellenbosch. Thurs at Earth Fair Market, daily at V&A Waterfront’s Market on the Wharf

Giovanni’s Deli World. Operating since 1989, Nicholas and Giovanni Esposito airfreight quality cheese from Europe. You’ll pay a little extra but Italian Parmigiano-Reggiano is cut from the wheel, or pear-shaped Provolone is sliced into chunks. Also find Spain’s sheep’s milk Manchego, Danish Esrom, Greek goat-and-sheep feta, Dutch (young and old Gouda, Boerenkaas, Leiden, Gouda with mustard) and French signatures, plus Swiss Appenzeller. Main Road, Green Point. 021-434-6893.

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Cheese from Gay's Guernsey Dairy in Prince Albert
Fromages de France. Selling from her husband’s charming wine shop, Lodine Maske’s passion for French cheese knows no limits. She supplies French embassies in a few Southern African countries. Naturally she’ll also offer cheese and wine pairing tips (South African or French bottles, take your pick). Maske supports family-run producers, so find three different Munsters, four Epoisses (three hand-moulded), seasonal Vacherin Mont d’Or from the Alps, or Ossau-Iraty sheep’s milk cheese made up in the Pyrénées. Main Road, Franschhoek. La Cotte

La Crémerie Shop. Suzanne Himely’s childhood stints with her French grandmother rubbed off. Initially selling French wine and goodies at markets, she now mans a shop stocked with wonderful products, cheese and wine. “I probably have 10 different cheese regions and 20 styles,” she says. Find genuine Roquefort, Morbier from Jura and little-known Tomme Noire des Pyrénées. There’s also Reblochon from Savoie, and Cantal from Auvergne, an ancient cheese predating Roman times. Gardens Centre, Cape Town. The French Market

The Real Cheese. Valerie Elder has talked cheese and supplied it to delis and restaurants for 20 years. This retail outlet of Get Stuffed Enterprises showcases producers from every province for cheese-loving consumers. Taste and learn from her extensive knowledge, while being tempted from the vast display, including award-winning Pecorino-style goat’s milk Grison, a Free State seasonal Ficksburger washed rind, or Chrissi’s unusual Natal beetroot. Lower Main Road, Observatory. Get Stuffed

A version of this appeared in The Times on 11 March 2015.

Comments

  1. Andrew
    March 11th, 2015 at 10:19PM

    Hi Kim
    So sorry you don't come to Stellenbosch to the Wild Peacock Food Emporium they have nearly 140'different local artisanal cheeses plus a range of imports in total bigger than all the "Cheeseries" you have mentioned and are about to open in the coming months one of the biggest affine urns in SA

  2. Kim Maxwell
    March 12th, 2015 at 08:35AM

    Hi Andrew

    Thanks for pointing that out. When researching stories for The Times my primary focus has to be Cape Town locations first, then country spots, so you'll see the majority were in Cape Town itself.

    Just so you know, my criteria wasn't necessarily in finding the biggest selection but also ensuring there was solid cheese knowledge from the people behind the cheese counters. I was impressed by how many of the imported cheeses were directly sourced from smaller farms and not commercial brands, and the retailers could tell those stories. Similar principles applied to the local cheeses.

    Wild Peacock has a great reputation and I don't doubt there is a great cheese selection and expertise for anybody looking.

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