Ontario cheese twist on a French favorite

Our Cheese Sommelier Vanessa picks this week  Le Saler cheese made by Monforte Dairy, located in Stratford, Ontario. Le Saler is rare artisan cheese made by this well established dairy. Canadian pioneer cheesemaker Ruth Khlasen’s take is a rustic, cow’s milk cheese styled after traditional French Salers PDO (cheese speak: Protected Designation of Origin) cheese.

During the winter months, it is a slow time for cheesemakers who make fine artisan cheese with seasonal milk, as they follow the natural order of life and process of pasturing. Milk production levels don’t increase until new baby lambs, kids or calves are born in early spring and the mothers have had a chance to rest. A happy mother equates to excellent quality milk and the perfect beginning to stunning artisan cheese!

Similar to handcrafted bandaged cheddar (but not able to be called ‘cheddar’), Le Saler sports a dark, stone-colored rind covering a pale straw interior who’s crumbly texture shows evidence of original curd easily seen in the paste. Mild milk and earthy flavors mix with a hit of salt leaving a lingering creamy mouth feel behind.

Cheese: Le Saler
Producer: Monforte Dairy, Stratford, Ontario
Where to buy in Ottawa: The Piggy Market or Il Negozio Nicastro

Want to learn more about artisan cheeses?

Join Vanessa for her Great Canadian Cheese Discovery events. On March 19 she will feature artisan cheeses of British Columbia, Nova Scotia & PEI.   Tickets are $55 per person & includes samples of 7 to 8 artisan cheeses plus Canadian wines to enjoy.  More details about these events at savvycompany.ca/events

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