Fourteen. That’s the number of Woolies’ cheeses awarded first place by the judging panel at this year’s SA National Dairy Championships. And that’s not even counting the cottage and cream cheeses (although, to be fair, a whole other story could be dedicated to those beauts). From a soft, creamy labneh flavoured with the Middle Eastern spice za’atar to a Gouda matured a whopping 2 years, the winners are diverse enough to appeal to any cheese snob. Herewith the lowdown on the victors.
Boerenkaas with cumin
This silky, semi-hard Dutch-style cheese is a type of Gouda with a slight sweetness and nuttiness, amped up with the heady earthiness of cumin.
Botham’s Cremezola blue
Your new favourite blue cheese is semi-soft with a creamy texture and milder sharpness than traditional blues.
This robust semi-soft, blue-veined cheese has a washed rind and is matured for four weeks until deliciously pungent.
This firm, white mould cheese has a distinct goaty taste that intensifies with ripening. It’s also a favourite of our Michelin-starred man Jan-Hendrik van der Westhuizen.
Brie de Roche
Made with a combination of goat’s and cow’s milk, this white-mould wedge has a “barnyard” flavour and chalky centre that’ll become gorgeously oozy when ripened.
Labneh with za’atar
Mild in flavour, these soft, medium-fat Mediterranean-style balls are made with Jersey milk and given a flavour injection with za’atar spice.
Chevin with garlic and herbs
Boasting a characteristic goat’s-milk flavour, this soft, creamy cheese log is made even more robust in flavour by rolling it in fresh garlic and mixed herbs.
12- and 24-month matured Goudas
Slightly sweet, but with a much more defined, nutty character, these Dutch-style cheeses melt beautifully and are guaranteed to become your go-tos for toasted cheese sarmies.
6- and 12-month matured white Cheddars
Exclusive to Woolies, these sharp, tangy cheeses are undyed and have a firm, slightly crumblier texture. Your mac and cheese will never be the same using these aged gems.
Fresh mozzarella with olives and thyme
Sporting the stringy, tear-apart texture and milky, delicate flavour you want from a fresh mozzarella, with the salty, earthy gravitas of olive and thyme.
Mascarpone with fig and pecan nuts
The rich, creamy fresh cheese is layered with a sticky-sweet layer of preserved figs and pecan nuts – a real party in your mouth.
The delicate, milky flavour and slightly granular, moist consistency made this Italian-inspired cheese a winner in the judges’ books.