The cheesiest road trip you will ever take in South Africa

2019-07-18 19:00 - Gabi Zietsman
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farm stall cheese

Visit these 10 farm stalls on your next road trip through the Eastern Cape. (Photo: iStock)

The way it drips off a pizza. The creamy goodness tucked away between two slices of bread. The perfect soulmate for a wine tasting. 

My love of cheese started at an early age with my grandfather - he always grated his cumin Gouda to a fine sprinkling for my sandwiches and taught me the beauty of a 12-month matured cheddar. 

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My palate since then evolved to delight in the essence if a veiny Gorgonzola, appreciate a baked Camembert with freshly baked bread and discover how delicious a Red Leicester is. One of my biggest dreams was realised when I tasted real creamy Greek feta while on a holiday trip through the Mediterranean country.

But I'm not alone in my adoration for this food of the gods - you'd be hard-pressed to find someone who doesn't sing its praises and simultaneously feel a pang right in the heart whenever you think of the poor sods stuck with lactose intolerance. 

South Africa itself is luckily host to a decent collection of cheese connoisseurs and makers that are worth road-tripping for - just remember to take a big cooler bag with to take all that delicious cheese home as well!

READ: Cheese, biltong, chocolate and even salt! The top wine and food pairing destinations to add to your list

Western Cape

Udderly Delicious Cheesery

Darling is a favourite road trip destination, and a stopover to taste this cheese maker's products is a must-do.

Cheese to try: The award-winning soft Caciotta and the cheddar-and-gouda hybrid Skattie.

Pepe Charlot

This is an easy break out of Cape Town to Kommetjie on Imhoff Farm where you either just do a tasting or learn how to make goats cheese.

Cheese to try: The soft Pépé’s Heart table cheese and the creamy Buchette.

Gay's Guernsey Dairy

In the quaint Great Karoo town of Prins Albert, it's one of the top attractions in the area.

Cheese to try: Prince Albert Regal strong cheddar and the Parma Prince matured for a year.

READ: Cheese, bougainvillea and slow living in the Great Karoo

KwaZulu-Natal

Chané Cheese Farm & Lodge

Pretty much in the middle of nowhere near Mtubatuba, this quaint farm lets you try your hand at milking a goat while learning how they make their small-scale batches of deliciousness. 

Cheese to try: The goats blue cheese is a must as well as the cheddar. 

Marrakesh Cheese Farm

On the Midlands Meander in Rosetta, they specialise in cow's milk cheese and you can try between eight to ten cheeses on their tasting menu.

Cheese to try: The brie-style White and Blue and - when they have in-stock - Gruyere. 

Swissland Cheese

Another Midlands cheesery, the farm is surrounded by the area's classic rolling hills where their herd of goats roam.

Cheese to try: The ash-coated white mould cheese Drakensberg and Chevre available in smoked, plain, herb and peppered flavours. 

WATCH: Rainy hikes across quiet hilly pastures and being over-caffeinated in the Midlands 

Gauteng

Hydeaway Farm

Just outside to city in Heidelberg discover this dairy farm using milk from Jersey cows to make their delectable cheeses. 

Cheese to try: Mustard Gouda and a South African classic biltong Fromage.

Hoekplaas Cheesery

In Pretoria's Erasmia, Hoekplaas is a one-stop deli shop and even make cheese wedding cakes!

Cheese to try: Haloumi, cream cheese and goat pecorino.

READ: Road tripping for the hops: Craft breweries of Gauteng

Mpumalanga

Bergen Cheese

Take a weekend break to Dullstroom and check out this top organic cheese spot where all their pampered cows have names.

Cheese to try: Wensleydale and mature cheddar. 

READ: Walkersons Hotel & Spa: A Stairway to Heaven in the Mpumalanga escarpment

North West

Van Gaalen Kaasmekerij

In Skeerpoort at the foot of the Magaliesberg Mountains, buy your cheese from the deli and have a lovely picnic on the banks of the river.

Cheese to try: Traditional Dutch boerenkaas and stinging nettle cheese. 

Grootplaas Cheese Academy

Want to learn how to make cheese? Do a one-day or three-day course at Hartbeespoort and learn to make it at home - perfect for avid foodies!

Cheese to try: You'll learn how to make mozzarella and white and blue mold cheeses amongst other styles.

CHECK OUT: Road tripping for the hops: Craft breweries of North West 

Free State

Noah's Cheese

Clarens has much to offer as a dorpie escape, including artisanal cow's milk cheese like this one - they've even presented their wares on the international stage in Italy!

Cheese to try: Marinated string cheese and smoked mozzarella.

Baris

Another Clarens cheese stop includes this goats cheese farm that also offers country-style accommodation for your weekend break.

Cheese to try: SA Champion Vliedermaus and the traditional-style feta.

St Dairy

A German one day decided to start a dairy farm in Bloemfontein, bringing spoonable fresh cheese to South Africa.

Cheese to try: The spoonable quark cheese and a Truffelino soft cheese. 

READ: Discover SA's less-explored road-trip wonders of the Free State

Northern Cape

Vrouenspan Cheeses

On a long road trip through Kakamas, stop over at the quirky Pienk Padstal for this local cheese that comes right from someone's home kitchen.

Cheese to try: The Grootrivier feta and the Boesmanlander hard cheese. 

MAPPED: A visual guide to the Namaqua Coastal Route of the Northern Cape

Limpopo

Wegraakbosch Organic Farm

For something that's eco-friendly, travel to Haenertsburg for cheese inspired by the Swiss at this off-the-grid farm.

Cheese to try: The semihard smear-ripened Tilziter and the classic Emmenthaler. 

Geluksfontein

In the Waterberg region you'll find this farm where Swiss goats are reared on natural grazing.

Cheese to try: Soft goats milk cottage cheese and garlic pepper cheese roll. 

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