The rare art of cheese-making in DR Congo

Who knew?

A hillside village in the Democratic Republic of Congo is an unlikely site for the production of fine cheese. But here, one man continues a legacy started by Belgian priests in 1975.

Andre Ndekezi cuts carefully through thick, curdled milk with a large fork and then stirs it with his bare hands. He is making cheese in a bathtub.

His workshop is a small, wooden cabin perched on the lush hills of Masisi, in the east of the DR Congo.

The conditions are basic, but Ndekezi has a rare savoir-faire when it comes to dairy products.

The curd will spend a month on a shelf in a dark room in the back of the workshop and eventually become a refined cheese.

Simply known as Goma cheese – Goma is the largest town in the area – it is like a milder version of French gruyere, softer in texture.

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