A Grand Day Out – the 2015 South African Cheese Festival

Two of my favourite animated characters are Wallace and Gromit. I have no doubt that this is because of our mutual love for one of the foods of the Gods – cheese! In A Grand Day Out, after discovering that there is no cheese in the house, Wallace and Gromit build a spaceship to take them to the moon because “everybody knows the moon’s made of cheese”.

 

If you are in the southern Western Cape this weekend you won’t have to travel to the moon to experience the joy of cheese. From the 25th to the 27th of April 2015 the 14th annual South African Cheese Festival is being held at Sandringham Farm in Stellenbosch. At the time of writing, on the eve of the event, tickets are sold out for both the Saturday and the Sunday. Tickets are still available for the Monday – what better way to spend a public holiday?

 

The Food Gods smiled on me this week and I won Saturday tickets to the South African Cheese Festival through Kath Read’s awesome lifestyle blog Cape Town Insider. As my plus one, I am taking my good friend and fellow cheese fanatic, Jackie, who blogs over at Inspired Foods and is the producer of my favourite seasoning Umami Shake (my secret ingredient and possibly the secret of our friendship!).

 

We’ll be leaving our comfy beds at a rather unsociable hour tomorrow to get to the Cheese Festival early enough to have a good exploration before we are entertained at a live cooking demo at the Checkers Market Theatre, also included in our prize (lucky us!). The supermarket chain, Checkers, is high on my list of suppliers for quality meats and a marvellously special cheese selection (including one of my favourites, the very special Erik’s Mature Goat’s Milk Gouda from Fairview – which I was once sent to enjoy, along with a delicious Safari oriental dried fruit and onion chutney by Nina Timm). Throughout the duration of the festival a number of top South African culinary personalities will be displaying their expertise at the Checkers Market Experience, this includes one of my all-time favourites celebrity chef Jenny Morris, who is always a delight to watch.

 

This event is truly one of the highlights of the foodie events calendar, with this year’s festival having the highest number of exhibitors in the history of the event. Along with numerous local producers, there will also be some international brands. Last year Parmalat bought the full-bodied Galbani fresh Mozzarella and Galbani Mascarpone cheese to South Africa, produced locally under licence. In November 2014 I was invited to the launch of these enjoyable cheeses. Before a sumptuous Italian feast at the Galbani Table in the tranquil gardens of The Round House, we were treated to a cooking demonstration by highly acclaimed chef and restaurateur Giorgio Nava. His arancini with a mozzarella centre were phenomenal and a taste experience I will never forget. Galbani are one of the exhibitors at this year’s Cheese Festival, and we will be sure to head over to their stand, where Italian Chef Lapo Magni will be showing guests how to create a delicious meal using Galbani mozzarella and mascarpone, Italy’s no 1 cheese brand. Galbani cheeses are available at Checkers and other leading supermarkets.

 

Oh look, it’s nearly midnight. I’d better post this now, before I have to change all the ‘tomorrow’s’ in my post to ‘today’. See you at the #SAcheesefest folks! I look forward to creating new flavourful memories tomorrow and throughout 2015 – thank you to Cape Town Insider and Checkers for this tasty experience!

(featured pic – Two Cheese Caprese Salad by The Food Crew, a beautiful marriage of ripe tomato, soft buffalo mozzarella and fresh basil, made slightly different with the addition of creamy labneh)

 

Disclaimer: I blog when I feel like writing. Often I get invited to attend events – which I love doing to meet fantastic foodies, talk about food, learn about new food trends and products, and be exposed to the brands I love and admire. My blog is about me and the things that turn me on in the food world. I will always comment on an event on my facebook and twitter pages at the time, and eventually I will possibly mention an event I’ve attended in a blog post. If I am ever paid to attend an event and write about it, it becomes work. Once it becomes work you can guarantee you will get my account on the event in a timeous manner (always personal and honest, I do not copy and paste press releases). My blog is my happy place, I only share what pleases me.

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