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.
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.