Posted by VanessaThursday, January 10th, 2013
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.
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!