Swissland Cheese... one of Life's Little Fetishes
The produce on our doorstep is undoubtedly, in my mind, some of the finest in the world. One of these producers is Swissland Cheese not far from Hartford House. I must say not only I am a lover of their cheese but the property they reside on is in my opinion just that little piece of heaven. I often find myself driving along the Midlands Meander, and whilst I always have every intention of enjoying many different stops along the way, I seem to end up lost in the beauty of this magnificent place... with the bonus being the cheese of course.
Swissland is an established, unique enterprise that was pioneered by Fran Isaac in 1992. The opportunity presented itself in those years when Fran's family background of dairy farming and her own passion for the farm life she grew up with, came together just before the time when the only cheeses available and known to the South African public, was the Annato coloured Cheddar and Gouda. At the same time, cheeses such as Camembert and Brie paved the way for an interest and a demand for different styles of cheeses in South Africa. It was at the beginning of a new food culture, where healthy, wholesome foods were being sought after. This also collided at the start of the well-known Midlands Meander Tourist Route, incorporating artists, artisans and agri-tourism. A route that has become popular in providing and sharing an insight to the lives of these people and the beautiful area in which they live.
The Natal Midlands' rolling green hills and the lovely farm where Fran grew up, provided a springburst for her passion and a healthy farm life for her own children. The high hill where the Saanen Goats roam and the valleys that stretch below is where Swissland grew into a fairy tale following the footsteps of Heidi.
Fran's passion in the opportunistic creation of Swissland, shows in the small herd of healthy, happy, free roaming goats and her award winning cheeses. The pure healthy milk provides the creation of the large range of Swissland goat cheeses, free of antibiotics and colourants. This range provides a delight for all palates, from the soft, fresh Chevre to a hard, mature Pecorino.
So now that you have a better understanding of the property and its produce let me share one more of my fetishes. I must say out of all the fantastic cheeses Swissland produce, the Drakensberger is my favourite.
It has a pleasantly earthiness about it first up, with a lingering flavour of goats cheese coating the palate for quite some time after. That's why, when I do indulge, I accompany this beautiful cheese with a dense fruit and nut bread. On the occasion some tomato bredie does wonders too.
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