Meet the Makers
Big cheeses on the Clarens food scene
Having started small, these Free State foodies are making a name for themselves as artisanal cheesemakers of note
ESTEE VAN ASWEGAN OF BARIS MONGER
Baris Monger is a small goat cheese farm just outside Clarens where cheesemaker Estee Van Aswegen, who loves goats as much as she loves food, bought eight milk goats in 2016.
The family farm shed was converted into a tasting room, open on Saturdays and public holidays, where the public can enjoy cheese platters, wines, crepes, cheesecakes and other delectables all featuring the superb cheeses. A walk around the farm's edible garden is a must.
Baris took one the 2017 South Africa Dairy Championship Qualite awards for her Vliedermaus, a bloomy rind, ash-coated goat's milk cheese shaped like a truncated pyramid.
With such recognition, Van Aswegen's story is an inspiration to all aspiring cheesemakers. The range of cheeses includes chevre, feta, halloumi, brie, Baris Tomme - and the Vliedermaus.MARIETJIE CROWTHER OF NOAH'S CHEESE
Noah's Cheese dairy is tucked in the shadow of Mount Ararat, 10km from Clarens.
Marietjie Crowther started making mozzarella-type cheese in 2012 after her father gave her a Jersey cow as a birthday present. As the demand for her cheese grew, she outgrew her humble rondavel cheesery and a brand new off-the-grid dairy is nearing completion.
In 2017 Crowther and husband Danie visited the Slow Food Cheese festival in Italy and were inspired by the overwhelming array of cheese ideas - and Crowther knew she had to produce something different in her dairy.The result? Her unique Tauhwe cheese matured in cherry liqueur pulp (they also farm cherries) is a South African first as is the idea they gleaned overseas of melting a suspended cheese over heat and serving the melted mass on a roll topped with pickled asparagus and cherry chutney. Delicious.
Noah's Cheese will be exhibiting at the 2018 SA Cheese Festival from April 27 - 29 in Sandringham, outside Stellenbosch.