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Posts Tagged ‘artisan cheese of Ontario’

Vanessa is hosting a Cheesey Picnic!

Posted by Vanessa

Thursday, July 4th, 2013
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It is picnic season! Time to pack your favorite finger foods & blanket to head out to a park or take a drive to the countryside.  If you have cheese in your basket, you will need to be weary as to which ones will melt in the heat along the way.  Which cheeses are best for a picnic?  Hop down to The Ottawa Farmer’s Market  on Sunday July 14th  for a  “Cheesy Picnic” at Brewer Park with Savvy Cheese Sommelier Vanessa Simmons. Vanessa will share her tasty tidbits.

At this event, discover with Vanessa what’s hot in our local region and learn the “whey” to uncover the best of summer cheeses by sampling and hearing the stories behind these fabulous fromages.  Artisan cheese makers in the Ottawa region are producing some of the best-tasting cheeses in the land, be at The Ottawa Farmers Market to find out why.

See you there!

 

 

 Who is Vanessa?

She is the Cheese Sommelier for Savvy Company.  Her tasting seminars and speaking events throughout Ontario make for a delicious discovery of artisan cheeses from across Canada. Vanessa spends countless hours with regional cheese mongers and cheesemakers and has trained formally at the Cheese Education Guild in Toronto and at Le Cordon Bleu in Ottawa.

Her passion for cheeses oozes and her knowledge will melt away all notions that Canada only makes cheddar.  She’s been seen & heard on Rogers TV DaytimeCTV Morning LiveCBC RadioRubyTV, is a keynote presenter at The Great Canadian Cheese Festival year over year, a judge at the 2013 Selection Caseus - Le Concours de Fromages Fins de Quebec.

It has been noted by The Toronto Star that she is “openly fanatical about artisan cheese”. During her seminars, Vanessa will show you the ’whey’ – introducing you to the fun-damentals of cheese appreciation in an informative and lively format while showcasing the best that Canada has to offer.

Vanessa’s Cheese-y Top 10 To Do’s this year

Posted by Vanessa

Thursday, January 10th, 2013
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All too often, the beginning of a new year we jot down things ‘to do’ differently.  Well, that is exactly what our Cheese Sommelier - Vanessa – has done for you as she shares with you cheese-y tips to get your 2013 off to a tasty start.  Drum roll please….

1. Check out Milkhouse Dairy

Ottawa region’s newest raw sheep’s milk producers Cait & Kyle from Smiths Falls.  Sheep Tomme & fresh feta won’t be ready until summer 2013 but well worth the wait.  I’ve met & milked one of their star players sheep Brigitte – you’re in for a treat.

2. Take a road trip to ‘La Belle Province’

From Ottawa, a road trip to Montreal and back in a day with about 5-7 cheese stops along the way is easy.  Must visits include Le Troupeau Bénit, Fromagerie de la Table Ronde (think Fleuron), Fromagerie de la Suisse Normandie, and Fromagerie Montebello to name a few.

3. Try these exotic and unique cheese boards

Bored with your boards?  On one of my recent trips to the Ottawa Farmer’s Market (where I buy a lot of my artisan cheese), I found these exquisite cheese boards handcrafted by Joseph Henri.  Without a doubt, they are the hottest cheese boards – made here in Ottawa!

4. Go on a shopping spree at Glengarry Fine Cheese

A quick drive to Lancaster (Ontario) makes for a fun shopping trip…for cheese that is.  Be on the look out for their newest addition of stellar artisan cow’s milk cheeses – Nevis will be making its debut around March – stay tuned!

5. Visit the Great Canadian Cheese Festival in Prince Edward County, June 1-3 2013


2013 marks the 3rd year for this weekend long festival held in Prince Edward County.  It is a tasty weekend that will fill your head with lots info about artisan cheeses & fill your belly with delicious cheeses from across Canada.  Read my blog highlighting the 2012 festival.  This year, Savvy Company returns as a sponsor & I will be hosting a cheese tasting.

6. Become a cheesemaker for a day!

Glengarry Fine Cheese hosts a full day workshop.  The hands on experience will definitely increase your appreciation for the stunning cheeses we make in Canada.  And never again will you be the one asking why artisan cheese is more expensive.

7. Get over yourself & try a bite of blue cheese.

All you non-believers out there don’t know what you’re missing (close your eyes, it helps!).   Start with “beginner blues” such as Celtic Blue, St. Laurent Blue & Bleu D’Élizabeth & Geai Bleu as they are surprising soft flavours – far from the off putting pungent flavours & aromas that often come to mind when someone says ‘blue cheese’.

 

 

8. Join me for the Great Canadian Cheese Discovery

It’s a tasty way to spend an evening sampling a variety of cheeses while I show you the “whey”.  Each evening features a selection of cheeses from a different province (January – Ontario, February – Quebec, March – BC, PEI & NS).  With a glass of Canadian wine in hand you will learn the fun-damentals of artisan cheese with each bite. Advance tickets only… these tastings sell out fast!

9. Head to Prince Edward County for wine…and cheese too!

With over 25 wineries awaiting your discovery, there are cheese makers too.  My must visis include Black River Cheese (definitely try their yummy Maple Cheddar) & the new County Cheese Company (located in the Waupoos Marina).  Stop for lunch or dinner at the Agrarian Cheese Market for the best gourmet grilled cheese sandwich around!

10. Spread the curd

Remember to support our 6 local artisan cheese producers Back Forty Artisan Cheese, Clarmell Farms, Canreg Station & Pasture Dairy, Fromagerie Les Folies Bergères, Glengarry Fine Cheese & Milkhouse Dairy.  Most of them are members of Savour Ottawa & can be found during the summer months at farmers markets all over the city & surrounding regions.  Let’s keep Ontario’s budding cheese industry alive!
 

 

 

 

 

You’re invited to a Wine & Cheese with a TWIST

Posted by Debbie

Thursday, January 10th, 2013
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Shake off the winter blues & join our team of Savvy Sommeliers for a fun wine tasting the “coolest” wines from Niagara & Prince Edward County boutique wineries.

These back to back events will take place in small & intimate venues so that you can spend the evening chatting with the winemakers & winery owners about their vineyard, winemaking styles & all the goings on at the winery during the winter months….and stock up on your favorite wines too!

 

ROCKCLIFFE PARK

Tuesday January 29 @ 7pm
Rockcliffe Community Hall – 380 Springfield Rd

BUY TICKETS > >

~ OR~

WESTBORO

Wednesday January 30 @ 7pm 
Exposure Gallery
– 1255 Wellington St West (2nd floor of Thyme & Again)

BUY TICKETS > >

 

What is the TWIST?  

At these Taste & Buy events, there will be a wide selection of hard-to-find wines that are not available at the LCBO.  This gives you the unique opportunity to a taste a variety of sparkling, white, red & dessert wines that you can order your new favorite wines that will be delivered directly to your home or office – within a week!


Feature wineries include:

Casa Dea Estates Winery (Prince Edward County) – one of the first wineries in The County will showcase their new range of wines.

Fielding Estates Winery (Beamsville Bench – aka Niagara Escarpment)  – from sparkling to reds, their wines are fantastic!

Lighthall Vineyards (Prince Edward County) – one of the newest boutique wineries in The County…and their wines are turning heads!

Palatine Hills Estates Winery (Niagara-on-the-Lake) – one of the oldest vineyards in the region makes spectacular reds, whites & bubblies

Pondview Estates Winery (Niagara-on-the-Lake) – they’ll be serving their Bella Terra Reserve wines

Rosewood Estate Winery & Meadery (Beamsville Bench) – outstanding white wines & a lovely Pinot Noir awaits…and meads too (winespeak for wine made with honey)

Sue-Ann Staff Winery (Beamsville Bench) – international winemaking star will charm you with her vivacious personality & her impressive wines.

 

You can purchase your favorite artisan cheese too!

And as wine & cheese is a classic pairing, Vanessa – our Cheese Sommelier - will be on hand at the Artisan Cheese Bar serving handcrafted cheeses from Ontario & Québec that may be purchased to take home with you that night.

ADVANCE TICKETS ONLY

HELD OVER! $55 per person before January 25 (regular $65)

$200 for a group of 4 people (save $15 per person)

Only 50 tickets available per event.  Click to buy yours …

ROCKCLIFFE PARK event on January 29 >>

WESTBORO event on January 30 >>

Price includes wine tasting, cheeses, HST & a special Savvy wine tasting glass

Share this invitation with your friends – everyone is welcome.

 

These events are hosted in partnership with:

 

 

 

 

Cheese to beat the February blahs – zesty Lemon Fetish

Posted by Vanessa

Thursday, February 23rd, 2012
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February can be a ho hum time of year and so my cheese pick this week – Lemon Fetish - is the perfect curd choice to beat off the blahs and replace them with a little bit of zing and zest.  Hailing from Prince Edward County, Ontario, Fifth Town Artisan Cheese Co.’s littlest cheese family member is one of over 20 varieties of sheep, goat and cow milk cheeses.

A pretty package, Lemon Fetish is an unripened, feta-style sheep’s milk cheese, made from Local Food Plus milk producers, and shaped in small, round wheels weighing in at only 100 grams, but delivering a huge impression.  Rolled in Red Fife wheat and lemon zest, the paste (inside of the cheese) has a dry, crumbly texture.  Enjoy citrus and sour cream notes, and fresh, clean, tangy and salty flavors.  A little goes a long way thinly sliced over mixed greens, to garnish a gourmet vegetable quiche or anywhere you would use traditional feta cheese.


FACTBOX:
Cheese:  Lemon Fetish
Producer:  Fifth Town Artisan Cheese Co.
Interesting Fact: The Red Fife Wheat used to coat the cheese was invented by David Fife – operator of the first experimental farm in Canada.


Enjoy! – Vanessa

Calling all cheese lovers!

Posted by Vanessa

Thursday, May 12th, 2011
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Savvy Company is thrilled to sponsor The Great Canadian Cheese Festival!

June 4-5 2011 @ The Crystal Palace in Prince Edward County

For the first time in Canada, The Great Canadian Cheese Festival brings together the country’s leading cheesemakers from coast-to-coast so cheese lovers can meet to learn, talk, taste and buy the best in artisan, farmstead and specialty cheese—and sample fine wine, craft beer, cider and artisanal foods. Our Cheese Sommelier Vanessa Simmons is one of the presenters showcasing the artisan cheeses that will give culinary inclined Canadian much to be proud about.

This first-of-its-kind festival takes place June 4th & 5th at the historic Crystal Palace in Picton – Prince Edward County, Ontario’s newest wine region and fastest-growing culinary destination. For more information about The Great Canadian Cheese Festival and to buy tickets visit: www.cheesefestival.ca and make a weekend of it!

Original Feta

Posted by Vanessa

Friday, March 25th, 2011
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As we let go of cold and snow, and days are noticeably longer, I feel a mounting sense of spring in the air, bursting with possibilities and renewal of life.  When I think spring, I think all things fresh and new – bringing to mind lambing season and farmstead cheeses.  This, in turn, makes me think of Canreg Station Farm & Pasture Dairy, a family operated dairy sheep farm in Finch, Ontario (South of Highway 43).

This week, I’m thrilled to share my “kick off spring” cheese pick – Canreg’s Original Feta cheese – made from the high quality sheep’s milk produced by the over 380 ewes that call Canreg home.  Over 20 types of cheese are hand crafted by Josef Regli and family, produced “out of pasture” using milk processing methods in small batches similar to a European method of cheesemaking.  Rich, dense, moist and crumbly, but not overly salty, this fresh, unripened traditional Greek style feta is, in a nutshell, stunning.  Try with your favourite mix of olives, spiced nuts, or as the perfect finish to your favourite salad.

Original Greek Feta - Canreg Station & Pasture Dairy


FACTBOX:

Cheese:
Original Feta
Producer:
Canreg Station Farm & Pasture Dairy, Finch, ON
Where To Buy:
  Byward Market (winter season), Ottawa Farmer’s Market (summer season)
Interesting Fact:
 Feta is a protected designation of origin product in Greece.  The name comes from the Italian word fetta, meaning “slice”


Enjoy!Vanessa

Lacey Grey

Posted by Vanessa

Wednesday, March 9th, 2011
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Fifth Town Artisan Cheese Co. located in Prince Edward County, is a top producer of award winning cheeses. Offering over 15 delicious varieties, they’re unbelievably passionate about producing the highest quality cheeses from locally supplied whole milk, and re-igniting ‘The County’s reputation as a cheese-making region (which once had over 26 cheese-making facilities).  Well worth a visit on your next road trip!

My pick this week is Lacey Grey, a soft-ripened goat’s milk cheese, hand rolled with care in grapevine ash, often mistaken for a blue cheese. Under the wrinkly, grey-and-white bloomy surface you’ll find a two-fold surprise: the dense, snowy white, firm centre turns creamy, softer, and pale ivory just under the rind.  Enjoy mild, tangy, piquant flavours with slight “dry mouth feel” minerality, an expression of County “terroir”.

Lacey Grey cheese Fifth Town Cheese


FACTBOX:

Cheese:
Lacey Grey
Producer:
Fifth Town Artisan Cheese Co., Prince Edward County, ON
Where To Buy:
  Serious Cheese (Bank Street South), Jacobson’s Gourmet (Beechwood), The Piggy Market (Westboro)
Interesting Fact:
  Fifth Town is the only local producer of artisan cheese made from each of 3 types of milk (cow, sheep & goat).

 

Enjoy!Vanessa

 

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