Puglia Cheese

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Puglia Cheese is one of the most consistent producers at the AITC. During the 2023 awards, they were awarded three golds, and one double gold for their dairy products. We were eager to find out more about this powerhouse of a company.
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Please tell us when your company was founded and some of its history.

Puglia cheese was born in June 2010, when Davide Ostuni noticed that there was no Burrata available in the whole of South Africa.

Davide and Ursula Ostuni Patrick Heathcock 1
Davide and Ursula Ostuni (Photo Patrick Heathcock).
Please tell us about some of the unique features of your company.

Puglia cheese is the first to produce the now famous Burrata cheese. Using local milk and local labour. “We are the reason why you love Burrata”.

Puglia Cheese Osteria
Davide busy making Mozarella (Photo Patrick Heathcock).
What do you think are some of the unique products you have?

Ofcouse , the Burrata but we also have the Zizzona del Capo (an extra large Fior di Latte ball that due to the cutting it looks like a beautiful boob, yes a boobie : )), The Treccia which is a mozzarella made into a plaid. The Nodini (stretched and knotted) fior di latte and the famous Sfoglia, a sheet of fior di latte filled with anything you fancy and rolled like a log.

Please tell us what is unique about your production/manufacturing process, and your philosophy around this.

We use only local products, 90% of our production is done by our staff, all manually from the rennet mixing to the mozzarella stretching. This gives the end product a much better consistency and taste. We also do not use any chemical-preservative in our products.

Fior de Latte balls being prepared. (Photo Patrick Heathcock)
What do you think is your distinct advantage or reason for your success?

My personality, of course! Ahhaha Jokes aside, we believe our advantage is staying true to nature and to our origins. We strive to keep the same quality by not using too many machineries and not adding additives or preservatives to the product. Keep it like it is supposed to be.

Our cheese factory is visible from the outside, through a window from our Osteria Cheese Bar, and you can see the cooking, the stretching and the shaping all done by hand.

Osteria Cheese bar with numerous products to buy.
What is the consumer demographic of your products, and what feedback are you getting?

When we first opened, back in 2010, the pro-capita cheese consumption in RSA was less than 600g per person per year. And 95% of that was mainly Cheddar and Gouda. Considering that in Europe is over 11Kg per person per year! So it was quite a small window.

Now thanks also to other ‘mad’ cheese makers like us that are producing and introducing ‘new’ cheeses to the market, the average South African is learning and appreciating, be it from goat, sheep or cow. Therefore, we are slowly changing the demographics of our typical consumer from the occasional overseas traveller to locals that want to try something new. The consumption is now just over 1Kg per person per year and is growing. That’s also why we have opened the OSTERIA CHEESE BAR. The idea behind it is to have a platform to introduce the one thousand and one way to cook and to appreciate cheese. The menu is designed around cheese! The king is the cheese. So, from our cheese platters to dishes, you will find a variety of different cheese used for each plate. And I must say, it is working! Almost everyone in South Africa now knows what a Burrata is, it took us a decade but, it is now in everybody’s mouth! That’s the spirit that drives us.

How do you see your company or product on the global stage?

We won a world award, so we see ourselves capable of competing with the more established ‘European’ manufacturers. We produce under Halal and Kosher, thus giving us an advantage with all markets requests. Furthermore, we are about to enter the local mainstream retail industry, launching our products with Pick'nPay and soon enough with Woolworths. This should give us the strength to think about going further overseas. There are some hurdles to overcome, since Europe is very protective towards ‘some’ imports. Even to just participate in the World Cheese Award contest, we need ‘special’ clearances. So yeah, it will not be easy, even if many South African cheeses have already won the World Awards. But, we are confident that we shall succeed. If South African Wines are now enjoyed in Europe, it’s only a matter of time for our cheeses to ‘clear’ through the bureaucracy web.


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Puglia is now also making pasta.

In what countries can your products be found?

Mozambique and soon Mauritius.

Please tell us if you have any innovations in the pipeline for the future.

Yes, we are building new cheese maturing rooms, of course in full view. The maturing rooms will be mainly for our new cheeses. By 2024 we will have cheeses like Toma, Ubriaco (drunken cheeses together with local wine producers), Rodez, Oaxaca, Monteray Jack, Queijo Serra da Estrela and others.

Contact details:

Contact person: Davide Ostuni

Email Address: davide@puglia.co.za

Contact Number: +27 (0)84 0716 691

Website: https://www.puglia.co.za

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100064098815151

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/puglia_cheese/

Photos by Patrick Heathcock Photography