It all started with a dynamic woman Nathalie Thorez from Sart and a cheese maker Michel from Namur. Nathalie took over the family dairy farm in Sart and Michel worked in Namur and sold St-Aubin cheese he made as well as other locally-made cheeses. He regretted the fact that there was no cheese made with milk from the family farm in Sart managed by Nathalie. Therefore, Nathalie went looking for people who could teach her the art of cheese making. In France she learned to make Brie and hard cheese in Estivaz, Switzerland. Etivaz APC is a hard cheese made from raw milk, which is produced between May 10 and October 10. Immediately after her return to Sart, she began organizing all the materials and equipment required for cheese making.

She succeeded to make her cheese by herself, although Michel often helped out. They had the idea to start making a cheese made in Sart, named “Sarté”. It took more than a year of trial and error, before Nathalie finally was satisfied with the consistency and the taste of her cheese which she has sold now for several years. The cheese looks and taste similar to the well-known Comté.

About 200 litres of raw milk is required to make one, 20kg cheese-wheel. After preparation the cheese must age  for several months. Cheese aged for a relatively short period is sold as “young” cheese, and liked by both old and young consumers. There is also an older (“aged”), stronger tasting cheese variety.

Nathalie makes long days to produce her cheese. Her days are filled with milking her cows, producing her cheese and caring for her family which includes her and Michel’s two children. The  heavy cheese wheels require regular turning when aging. She uses about 400 litres of milk per day to produce 2 wheels of cheese. Between May and October, Natahalie makes two wheels of cheese every day, including weekends!

By the end of October, the cows are taken indoors and stabled. In the spring the cows are let out into the pasture, when the grass is greening up.

The Sarté is available at the Delhaize (Jenny) in Sart, at the butchers Jérôme in Sart and at the butchers Ortmans in Jalhay.

Source: Vivacity RTC Liège


Contact details

“Le Sarté” Cheese factory

  • Grand'Rue 124, Jalhay, Belgique