Updated: Aug 26, 2019
BELNORI BOUTIQUE CHEESERY makes an extensive range of both hard, semi-hard and soft cheeses.
The'Belnori Boutique Cheesery' is situated on a 15-acre Black Wattle plantation belonging to Norman and Rina Belcher and nestles in the Nestpark Agricultural Holdings, near Bapsfontein, part of the Greater Benoni area.
The milk used, is obtained from their own, very lovable Swiss Saanen herd, most of whom have been reared on the property. The 'ladies' live in spacious paddocks, enjoy a healthy diet and produce milk that can really be called 'organic'. They are sheltered at night in paved wattle-huts.
The couple are both cheesemakers and it is difficult to distinguish exactly who makes what. Norman though, takes care of the herd and handles each animal daily to ensure that they are always in good health. Rina does the R & D, sees to the packaging - where the feminine touch is evident – makes the Camembert, Brie and such like and sees to the finishing of the products.
Goat Cheese is again finding its place of honour among brethren cheeses
There exists a misconception that Goat Cheese always has an unpleasant taste. Many people have had unacceptable experiences when experimenting with the cheese for the first time and remain reluctant to try again.
Goat Cheese is different – of course it is different – that does not, however, mean it has to be unpalatable!! There are two main aspects that determine the 'taste' of Goat Cheese.
- The 'unpalatable' taste is derived from the ewes' close proximity to the ram - his 'Old Spice' is nose-wrinklingly pungent!!
- The genuine flavour of Goat Cheese – appreciated by connoisseurs – appears at maturity and lends to the cheese a gorgeous 'full' flavour. These results stem from the presence of three benign fatty acids (capric, caprylic & caproic) found in the butter fat & released slowly during the ripening process. (Goat milk has 2 -3 times more of these fatty acids than its bovine counterpart).
At Belnori we ensure that the unpalatable taste is totally eliminated. All extraneous influences are eradicated from the milk with strict hygiene and good animal husbandry practices. (The Belnori rams reside in ‘Ramsgate’ and the ewes are bathed regularly). This practice leaves milk, with a slight nutty flavour, from which we produce our unique cheeses full of 'umph'and attitude!!
As a Boutique-style cheesery, we strive for high quality and originality – the hallmarks of Handcrafted Goat Cheese. This, in contrast to the banality & industrial standardisation of most mass-produced cheeses, where taste is irredeemably lost and good eating is replaced by basic nutritional considerations, stimulated by appealing packaging often concealing uniform products.