Claudio and Margaret Giustizieri established Cremalat Cheese in 1993. Their business started out as nothing more than a small stall selling artisanal cheeses at the Michael Mount Organic Market in Bryanston. However, they soon became known as the people to go to for quality Italian food products. This was mostly thanks to the support of the large Italian community throughout Joburg.
The Giustizieri’s officially opened the first Cremalat store in 1996 at a new venue in Kensington. Soon enough, they began to distribute their products in both Joburg and Pretoria. A delicatessen was also added to the store, bringing in heaps of new customers. By 2001, Cremalat had outgrown its Kensington premises. The Giustizieri’s moved the business again, this time to an industrial park on the border of Edenvale. The deli has been hidden away here for almost two decades now. In 2010, an in-house eatery, La Cucina was added to the venue, bringing in even more loyal customers.
Although Cremalat is rather difficult to find (don’t trust your GPS – follow the scent of cheese and coffee instead), it is well worth the hunt. The Tuscan facade of the building immediately transports you to somewhere other than the smoggy East of Joburg. Walk through the deli, marveling at the imported cheeses, pasta sauces and oddly shaped noodles that you would never find at an average South African supermarket. Don’t fret too much about the price of some of these items – they are worth blowing the budget for. If you are a newbie to the world of gourmet cheese, simply ask the deli manager for advice on which ones to pick out. They are super friendly here and always willing to spend at least half an hour explaining the difference between each of their cheeses.
The La Cucina Restaurant is situated just behind the deli. On a sunny day, opt to sit outside in the courtyard. A serene water feature and pebbled pathways make it easy to pretend that you are on a romantic trip to Italy. Otherwise, take a seat inside the small restaurant. Elegant lighting and simple decor give the eatery an upmarket feel. If you are lucky enough to be seated near the back of the restaurant, you can watch the chefs prepare your meal just a few feet away. It does tend to get a little loud inside the restaurant on busy days, but this all lends to a wonderful Italian style experience.
Stand out items on their menu include the cheese and deli meat platter, which includes a selection of brie, camembert, smoked mozarella, gorgonzola, pastrami, salami and roast beef. It is accompanied by freshly baked ciabatta and loads of butter. Seafood lovers, try out the mixed seafood pasta. The delicate white wine sauce and blistered cherry tomatoes lend brilliantly to the subtle flavours of the seafood. The pasta is also wonderfully fresh and cooked to perfection.
If you have space for dessert, order the tiramisu – we can promise that you have probably never had one like this before. It is served in a mini mason jar and comes with a serving of piping hot espresso. Pour over as much coffee as you like. Rather than the usual lady finger biscuit base, La Cucina uses lemon madelines. Surprisingly, the combination of strong coffee, lemon and rich cream go very well together.
Whatever you choose to order off the menu is bound to be well-prepared with the freshest ingredients. So, make a date of it and head out to Cremalat Cheese and La Cucina Restaurant. You won’t regret the extra calories for a second!
Contact details: Greenhills Industrial Estate, Sam Green Road, Tunney EXT 6 Elandsfontein, Edenvale | 011 822 8320 | firstname.lastname@example.org