I arrived in South Africa, in 1977 and was, frankly appalled that Sweetmilk cheese was South Africa's only standard, although a rare white moulded cheese called Rosetta, was manufactured not 20 kms from here - BUT what tragedy, when due to implementing overhygienic practices, the mould died and has never been found again! After our youngest child was cured of terminal cancer, I needed a hobby to focus upon and my husband suggested that as restrictions had been lifted, I try my hand at cheese and for 25 years, every single day, cheese has been made by myself. It is a hugely satisfying hobby-business, but it requires relentless hard work on a continuous basis and it is not for the faint hearted. I make exotic boutique cheeses in the cheddar tradition.
I have won many prizes for these in this country and the UK at the World Cheese Awards, where I acquired 2 silver medals in 03 and 04 and once I was requested to send one of my 'mini Stilton types', to Buckingham Palace, as a gift for HM the Queen, because Prince Phillip when he visited RSA, tasted my cheese and hence a request was made that some was sent for his wife to savour! However, as a leveller, I have had many disasters, incurring enormous loss and expense, and I can honestly say, that unless one is passionate about making cheese and watching each individual head maturing, as one does a child, at the same time, expecting the inevitable knocks and errors, there are few more interesting pastimes/hobbies or challenges.
Mine is a Microbusiness and I have never felt inclined to expand. I sell at a local Farmers Market each Saturday and interact with very interesting people from across the globe. My main market is in Cape Town where I introduced a very well known cheesemonger to selling cheese in the first place and unique and beautiful outfits such as Hartford House, take my product on a continuous basis.
Here's an article featuring Chrissie from Country Life.