By David Malan, Cheesemaker - Kokerboom Kaas
When Lizana De Jongh contacted us asking whether we would like to be part of the Old Mill Market in Hopefield, we were skeptical. Spending every Saturday flogging our wares to a public seeking cheap cheddar and gouda, was not at all appealing.
How wrong we were!
Our first visit was to introduce us to the market. I was seriously surprised by how small it was. Even more surprised by the little corner I was supposed to sell from! We went home thinking that this would be a short-term amusement.
How wrong we were!
Thefirst market day was, as Lizana explained, “a very quiet Saturday – until flower season it is always very quiet, but you need to build stock as it gets REALLY busy”. Right.
With our fridge space stocked and samples displayed, we diligently listened to Lizana’s briefing. She was enthusiastic and passionate. On the countdown to 10h00 she flung wide the doors – Ta Daaa! There were four people waiting to come in – not the horde we were expecting. I settled down to what I anticipated would be a boring 2 hours.
By 12h00 we had sold our entire stock! I had no time to do anything but cut cheese for the patrons to sample, explain my product, provide provenance as to the milk we used and more!
We were so wrong on so many poorly formed perceptions. Let me right them now:
What a group of dedicated, kind and enthusiastic people they are. Lizana is a great leader with tremendous vision and hope for the future of more similar markets.
These we found to be discerning foodies who travel far and wide to get the best and freshest produce they can. They are knowledgeable and passionate about quality. Sure, there are a few cheddar chasers, but they are the exception.
THE VENDORS AND THE PRODUCT
Shatteringly dedicated and top of their game! What more can we say?
OLD MILL CHEESE
With more than 12 Saturday markets under our belt(and almost always a complete sell out of our stock), we look upon the Old Mill Market as an icon we are very proud to be associated with and intend to be so for a very long time into the future.
It is therefore only fitting that I create a cheese dedicated to this market. We created a cheese that can be enjoyed young and one with great flavor and texture. It is a firm, yellow, rindless cheese that is ready from press to table in only a month – perfect for the market. It can be left unwrapped in the fridge where it will firm up to be an excellent grating cheese for use in dishes or toasties. We have run a blue mould culture through it to strengthen flavor. This does not mean it is a “Blue cheese” – the culture will probably not be visible at all, but the flavor will be noticeably strengthened.
The name of the cheese? “OLD MILL” – of course!
For more information on The Mill Market, visit https://www.facebook.com/millmarket.hopefield/