Fran Vermaak of Swissland Cheese really gets on with her goats – ensuring they produce the delicious milk which goes into her interesting cheeses.
Convinced that real care makes a real difference; her goats have names, homes and a comfortable retirement. “My goats are free to roam in the grassland, so eat a variety of herbs and grasses which definitely improves the milk and gives it a unique local flavour” says Fran.
During any weekend, drive up the hill to Swissland to meet some of the goats and try the authentic Feta made with herbs grown on the property or the smoked ‘isiNyani’ (which means little goat in Zulu) or the classic fresh, soft Chevin.
Fran supplies her cheeses to top Midlands restaurants – Hartford House, La Lampara and Granny Mouse Country House. Chef Leanne Roberts at Granny Mouse uses the ‘Drakensberg’ (a white mould cheese rolled in ash) to create a warm salad and other local specialities in her seasonal menu.
Organic herbs are used abundantly in Leanne’s cooking and just next door, Peter’s Gate Herbal Centre, who grow all their herbs organically, are offering inspiring workshops on creating simple herb filled meals. “Herbs are not only about taste” says Karin Makin “they are actually essential to promote good health. Include fresh herbs at every opportunity – they are very easy to grow!”
Indulge all your senses with a visit to the Midlands. Stroke a goat, crush a sprig of fragrant rosemary and tantalise your tastebuds in gentle surroundings with beautiful views and soothing country sounds.