From Mozart to Mozzarella – Bergen Cheese Farm in Dullstroom

The story of Bergen Cheese begins about 20 kilometres from Dullstroom at Pendle Hill Dairy.

Here cheese-making is taken to a different level altogether, beginning with the Jersey cows. These immaculately groomed ladies are treated with the status that they deserve on this cheese farm and go by names such as Daisy and Buttercup, as all good cows should – no numbers for these milk-producing mamas.

Pendle Hill DairyThis may seem like a lot of sentimental mumbo-jumbo, but it has been scientifically proven that cows addressed by name feel more relaxed and produce more milk. Christening their cows is not enough for Bergen Cheese, though. During milking time, the cows are treated to the lilting strains of Mozart, to ensure that they are at their relaxed best during this vitally important stage of the cheese-making process.

All of the cheeses produced on the farm are made from unpasteurised milk, which results in a tastier, more natural outcome. Only traditional cheese-making methods are used, with the exception of vegan-appropriate rennin being employed to thicken the milk. This method involves a great deal of patience, with equal amounts of stirring, heaps of dedication, years of experience and a dash of good fortune. No preservatives, colourants or chemicals ever make contact with a Bergen Cheese.

Cheese Farm in DullstroomThe result is a range of superior cheeses ranging from pungently aromatic cumin Gouda, to delicately smoked mozzarella – the kind of cheese that elevates the humble ham sandwich, to an entirely new level of snack super-stardom.

You can see how it is done by participating in one of the tours and demonstrations held on the farm and you can also pop in to the dairy during the daily milking times to say “Hi” to the cows and bottle feed the calves. After these exertions you can relax at the restaurant and sample the fruits of all this labour amongst tranquil gardens, or pop in to the shop and browse amongst the country-style pickles and preserves while you decide which of these mouthwatering cheeses to make your own.

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