Organic products are created through systems and processes that are more sustainable and harmonious with their environments (soil, animals, people, and plants). My cheese pick this week is “Le Baluchon” as an example of the dairy goodness that comes from organic practices, committed to by Fromagerie F.X. Pichet owners Michel Pichet & Marie-Claude Harvey of Sainte-Anne-De-La-Pérade, Québec. Organic cheese producers generally have lower tech operations and milk sourced from pasture-based farms (if not their own) where animals are free of hormones, antibiotics, and pesticides, herbicides/synthetic fertilizers or chemicals aren’t used on their lands.
Le Baluchon is a farmstead, washed-rind, certified “Québec Vrai” organic raw cow’s milk cheese aged for 60 days. Outside you’ll notice harvest colors of apricot/orange/terracotta in the rind with a thin white dusty layer that develops as the cheese ages. Inside, a bright golden yellow semi-firm creamy paste showing small holes glistens in sunlight. Made OKA-style, Le Baluchon has similar characteristics: a gritty textured rind, toasted hazelnut flavours, and pungent barny aromas.
Cheese: Le Baluchon
Producer: Fromagerie F.X. Pichet
Interesting Fact: For a cheese to be certified organic in Canada it must be produced in accordance with organic production systems and contain 95% or more organic ingredients.