polony cheese
Clover's new polony flavoured cheese
  • Clover recently launched polony-flavoured cheese slices.
  • It is marketed as an economical replacement for the traditional polony-and-cheese combination in kotas and fat cakes.
  • Our testers were divided about the product and its pink appearance.
  • But one polony lover would be prepared to ditch her favourite processed meat after tasting it.  
  • For more stories, visit www.businessinsider.co.za.

South African shoppers regularly encounter eyebrow-raising food inventions, but Clover has come up with one of the most confounding yet: a polony-flavoured cheese.

The food and beverage company launched the product last month, seemingly aiming it at vetkoek and kota lovers. These street foods, popular in townships, are usually stuffed with polony and cheese as the standard ingredients.

Describing the "2-in-1 slices”, Clover said the product combines the great taste of both cheese and polony in one cheese slice, selling it as a more economical substitute. "Pay for one and get the great taste of two,” the marketing material reads.

A packet of 54 slices retails at R97 at Spar and each individually wrapped slice weighs 16g.  

polony cheese

The cheese has a long life and can survive refrigerated for 6 months post its production date.

Upon unwrapping, you’re met with the sight of pink cheese. There's the obvious smell of polony - and its flavour is distinct. The creaminess of the cheese then follows, reminding you its cheese you’re about to consume. 

polony cheese
Pink slices

Business Insider invited a panel of tasters to review Clover’s new polony-flavoured cheese. Here's what they had to say:

polony cheese
Polony cheese taster

One taster, a staunch polony lover, said the new cheese slices were tasty enough to make her ditch polony, and opt for the cheese instead.

“This is so delicious. It would also be a good idea for people who sell kotas, because you just add one ingredient and you’re done.”

It also eliminates "the admin of rationing polony", she added.

But two other tasters were not sold. One said it tasted more like polony than cheese. She also contended that the slices are too thin.

polony cheese
Polony cheese

Another reviewer was put off by the pink colour of the cheese, as well as the taste. 

“It’s not nice. I’m tasting the cheese more than the polony," she said. She objected to it now being potentially sold as a substitute by kota sellers. "We want the meatiness of polony."

polony cheese
Polony cheese taster

This last taster was on the fence. "You definitely can taste cheese and and the polony simultaneously," she said. She would perhaps consider it as a substitute filling for her go-to polony-and-cheese sandwich - but wasn't wildly excited about the prospect.

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