Schwartzman Dairy – Cheese Made with Love

I am so lucky to live in a small country where I have the opportunity to meet so many interesting people. I especially enjoy meeting people who take pride in their work and make products with love, like Ziv Schwartzman does.

Early in our courtship, Mr. BT invited me to go away on our first weekend trip to the North. He booked a lovely zimmer in a sleepy village, known for its history, called Bat Shlomo, which is not far inland from Zichron Yaakov. Bat Shlomo was founded in 1889 and is one of the earliest Jewish settlements of the modern period. The original village consists of one charming street that contains beautiful stone houses with terracotta tiled roofs; the one above is my dream house.

However, we didn’t  manage to visit Bat Shlomo’s most important attraction during that trip because we were busy visiting other places and friends who lived in the area. It took us eight years before we had a chance to go back during working hours and make up for the missed opportunity.

When you enter the archway to the courtyard of Schwartzman Dairy, you are transported back in time to a period when the early settlers built the country with their hands, and cutting stones and setting them into walls was still backbreaking work.

The family has done a lovely job of decorating the courtyard with old pots, sewing machines, cartwheels, and plows in every nook and cranny.

The store, where you can taste and purchase all of their cheeses on offer, also serves as a museum displaying family photographs from 100 years ago, documents from the Turkish and British era, farm tools, household utensils, and family heirlooms.

The storefront brought a smile to my face and reminded me of the old dry-goods stores that were in most small towns in the United States. Okay, they didn’t sell labane and olives, but still.

Ziv Schwartzman is a third generation cheesemaker, olive grower, and producer of olive oil. He wants you to love his cheese as much as he loves making it, and you can’t help submitting to his enthusiasm, because all of his organic cow and goat cheeses are delicious, have depth of flavour and make you want to take some home, which of course we did.

We left with a bag full of goodies, including delicious labane with herbs, and black raspberry jam.

We also brought home a Tzfatit with herbs, Tomme, and a Chevrotine.  The cheese at the bottom of the picture is an English cheddar with cranberries that we purchased elsewhere.

We also sampled their delicious homegrown olives, olive oil, and jams.

They also sell a variety of spices, pickled vegetables, and bottles of soda pop from days gone by.

You can order a cheese platter and other goodies to eat on the premises and wash it down with their hot cider or if you’re lucky enough you can try their orgasmic malabi with carob and date honey, which Ziv graciously gave us to taste. I have to admit that I am not a huge fan of the watery malabi with fake raspberry syrup, and the even worse parve version with fake chocolate syrup and coconut that you find in restaurants; but as Ziv said, “This is not Tel Aviv malabi!”. This, my friends, is the best damn malabi I have ever had and I am sure he will not part with the recipe. It is milky, silky, and not too sweet; the combination of date honey and carob honey is a perfect marriage and I am going back very soon to have another one.

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Written by Baroness Tapuzina

Michelle Nordell (aka Baroness Tapuzina) was a foodie from the womb growing up in the House of Weird Vegetables, so named by a family friend because all of the unusual and exotic food cooked and eaten there. She loves to change recipes using herbs from her garden and spices from the spice shops she enjoys visiting.

13 thoughts on “Schwartzman Dairy – Cheese Made with Love

    1. It is great; I love the stone buildings. I would love to have a stone house. The labneh is very good. We are really enjoying the labaneh with herbs.

  1. Please count me in next tie you go up to the visit the Scwartzman’s dairy and stone house again.

    Happy Summer all !!

  2. Wow, that malabi looks amazing! I would try it by a standard malabi recipe made with milk (I used 1/4 cup cornstarch, 3 cups milk and 4 to 5 tablespoons sugar in “Feast from the Mideast”) and then flavor it with rosewater, orange blossom water or vanilla to taste.

    Mix carob honey (also called carob syrup or carob molasses) with silan (date syrup or date honey) – I would try equal amounts, a tablespoon at a time, until it tastes good, and a bit of water if it’s too thick.

    I can send you the full malabi recipe if you like – email me, please. If you don’t have carob or date honey, it tastes great with a sprinkling of pistachios and served with fresh strawberries.

  3. Thanks Faye! I have that cookbook. I will look up the recipe and try it. I have date honey and will buy a jar of carob molasses. I was thinking that pomegranate molasses might also be a nice touch.

  4. I have taken to checking this site regularly and have to say this post is exactly the combination of yummy and beautiful I have come to expect – thanks so much for doing this! That cheddar looks amazing too – can I ask where that came from? I must get to that dairy…

  5. Hi Naomi,

    Thank you! That is so sweet. I bought the cheddar at a supermarket in Herzylia Petuach on the corner of HaSadnaot and HaMenofim in the industrial zone. It is across from a health food store. This supermarket is a real find because they carry cheeses that I haven’t seen other than at an amazing cheese shop in Mahane Yehuda called Basher.

  6. Love your blog–can you please send over details of the zimmer in Bat Shlomo? Thanks and shabbat shalom from Yerushalayim,

    1. Hi Judy,

      I am happy you are enjoying the blog. We stayed a Zimmeritz (in Hebrew) in Bat Shlomo. It is owned by a lovely couple. I highly recommend it.

      Zimmeritz (in English)

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