At Zandam there is no compromise for quality or service.
Zandam was started by the Delle Donne & Monaco family in the late 1950’s after having immigrated to South Africa from Italy. The main focus of the business was to supply poultry products to the restaurant and catering industry which led to many requests for quality Italian Cheeses and hence the start of Zandam Cheese. Zandam has always prided itself on producing innovative and quality products and was one of the first manufacturers of mozzarella, ricotta, pecorino and provolone in South Africa. The cheese business remained secondary to the poultry business until the mid 1980’s when the poultry business was sold. Cheese production then became the main focus of the Delle Donne family.
A new factory was built in 1987-1988 with Mauro and Tino Delle Donne at the helm. Production was increased and new lines were added such as mascarpone, dolce blu and smoked mozzarella. Together the brothers built the business to a respected and well branded name in the restaurant and catering trade by always focussing on quality and putting the customer first.
Currently Zandam is owned and managed by Mauro Delle Donne with the help of a capable team of professionals. Their main clientele are distributors, restaurants, catering trade and a small percentage of the retail sector. Zandam will continue to manufacture innovative and quality products such as the recently released mozzarella fiordilatte and bocconcini which is a soft buffalo style mozzarella. Bocconcini has already won numerous awards and is mainly used for the caprese salad (mozzarella, basil and tomato) but also in many Mediterranean dishes.
Today Zandam continues to make award winning cheeses of the highest quality. At Zandam there is no compromise for quality and service.
How we make cheese
1. Milk receiving
Milk collected on farms in vicinity with an 18 000 L capacity tanker.
Raw milk heat – treated at a temperature of at least 72.2 ‘C for 15 seconds to kill pathogenic bacteria, and to substantially lower the amount of spoilage bacteria present in the milk.
3. Calcium chloride and culture addition
Lactic acid producing bacterial culture added to milk in order to lower the pH of the milk.
Calcium chloride added to bind milk protein (casein) molecules.
4. Coagulate milk
Milk is coagulated with an enzyme called rennet.
5. Cutting the coagulum (curd)
Once the milk has coagulated, the coagulum is cut into small cubes of approximately 1cm x 1cm with cheese knives. Cutting causes the coagulum to separate into 90 % whey (the liquid part of the milk) and 10 % curd.
6. Heating and agitation of curd
These curd cubes are then heated to specific temperatures for specific cheeses while being agitated.
7. Whey off
Once the whey reaches a certain pH, it is drained off from the curd.
8. Cut and turn curd
The curd is then cut into blocks, and these blocks are turned to allow excess whey to drain off.
9. Stretch and mould
From here the curd is stretched in a stretching machine and moulded.