Posts Tagged ‘cheesemakers’

The Best WHEY to Discover Canadian Artisan Cheese!

Posted by Debbie

Thursday, January 21st, 2021
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Cheese is the ultimate comfort food and Canadian cheesemakers are making some of the best in the world!

From buttery, melt-in-your-mouth soft cheese to hard & crumbly aged cheddars (and everything in between), there are always new cheese-y creations–but not all of them make it onto the grocery or specialty cheese shops. Signing up for a subscription to our Savvy Cool Curds club means you’ll always have some of the REALLY good stuff in your fridge for yourself–or to gift to a fellow cheese lover. Subscribers receive a parcel of Savvy Cool Curds with 4 rounds or wedges (approx 200g each) directly from the featured cheesemaker of the month–each cheese will be different & will showcase the talents of the cheesemaker. Plus, each monthly parcel also includes a Canadian-made gourmet goodie to complement your cheese-honey, preserves, specialty crackers…all kinds of surprises. Choose a subscription that delivers new cheese to you every month or opt for the ‘every other month’ subscription.

Sign up for a Savvy Cool Curds club on our website at www.SavvyCoolCurds.ca  !!

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Canada’s Coolest Curds – Ottawa’s 1st annual Artisan Cheese Festival

Posted by Ophelia Bradly

Wednesday, August 28th, 2019
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GET SET FOR CANADA’S COOLEST CURDS — Ottawa’s first Artisan Cheese Festival

Ottawa, ON August 28, 2019 – Cheese lovers rejoice! On Saturday, September 21 cheesemakers from across Canada will be gathering at the Canada Agriculture & Food Museum located at Ottawa’s beautiful Central Experimental Farm.

This one-of-a-kind event designed and hosted by Savvy Company is all about sampling artisan cheeses and taking home real treasures that are rarely found in grocery stores.

There will be wedges and rounds of all kinds – made with milk from cow, sheep, goat, water buffalo – even vegan cheeses.

Savvy Company has been showcasing delicious artisan cheese made across Canada that we send to subscribers to our Savvy Cool Curds Cheese-of-the-month club,” says Debbie Trenholm, Founder of Savvy Company and lead organizer of Canada’s Cool Curds. “People in Ottawa and Gatineau LOVE their cheese. At this new artisan cheese festival, we’re connecting those cheese fans with the talented cheesemakers to make a delicious experience.”

Award-winning cheese from the Canadian Cheese Grand Prix and the Canada Cheese Awards will be featured at this one-day festival.

“There are so many great cheeses made coast to coast in Canada,” says Margaret Morris Peters, owner of Glengarry Fine Cheese in Lancaster, Ontario. “Special events like Canada’s Coolest Curds in Ottawa give consumers a chance to see and sample so many more Canadian cheeses and meet the people who make them.”

Which cheesemakers are coming?

The enthusiasm for this new cheese festival has been tremendous. Here is the initial list of cheesemakers who will be featured. As more cheesemakers are confirmed, they will be listed on www.savvycheese.ca and profiled on Savvy Company’s social media feeds:

Participating Gourmet Artisans…

Cheese goes well with many delicious gourmet goodies. Ottawa based artisanal businesses will be onsite selling their creations including:

Throughout the day-long event, passholders will sample cheese, learn how cheese is made and what to look for in different types of cheeses from Ottawa’s own Cheese Sommelier & Professional Judge Vanessa Simmons, as well as cheese industry pros.

“We’re excited to welcome the different Canadian cheesemakers and festival goers to this new festival,” says Kerry-Leigh Burchill, Director General of the Canada Agriculture & Food Museum“We are delighted that Savvy Company selected the museum as the ideal venue for this event. As a demonstration farm and an educational facility for food literacy, we continuously shine the spotlight on Canadian producers. This new festival for Ottawa is the perfect match and promises to be fun day for cheese lovers & families.” 

This indoor and outdoor event begins at 10am attracting power-shoppers eager to stock up on hard-to-find cheeses, followed by a jam-packed day of seminars hosted by the pros on the main stage.

There will be a ‘Cheesey Hour’ with local comedians entertaining the crowds along with live musical performances.

There is no reason to worry about cheese melting as there will be a ‘Cheese Vault’ offering space in the Ottawa Food Bank’s refrigerated truck. This novel & cool service is $10 includes a limited edition insulated Savvy shopping bag and dedicated spot all day in the truck. Proceeds of this service will be donated to the Ottawa Food Bank.

There’s More!
Ottawa’s LARGEST Wine & Cheese Party

This new festival will be topped off with Ottawa’s LARGEST Wine & Cheese Party

At this ‘cinq à sept’ more delicious artisan cheese each expertly paired with outstanding Ontario wines, craft ciders along with samples of spirits from Top Shelf Distillers & Dairy Distillery – both from the Ottawa Valley.

Passes & Prices

All Festival Passes are available in advance ONLY at www.savvycheese.ca

  • Half Day Pass (10am – 1:30pm) – $20
  • Full Festival Pass (10m – 7pm) – $37 – includes a ticket to Ottawa’s LARGEST Wine & Cheese Party
  • Ottawa’s LARGEST Wine & Cheese Party Admission (5-7pm) – $25

Extensive information about Canada’s Coolest Curds is available at www.savvycheese.ca

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All inquiries and to request Media Pass contact:

Shirley Roy
Sommelier & Media Maven
613-SAVVYCO (728-8926)
c: 613-513-9401
shirley@savvycompany.ca

About Savvy Company

Savvy Company is about creating memorable experiences with wine, craft cider and artisan cheese. Through its popular ‘of-the-month’ clubs, educational and fun Savvy Events, as well as custom private tastings, the Savvy Team of experienced Sommeliers connects consumers to the dynamic people behind the products. The Savvy Team takes pride in showcasing hard-to-find beverages and cheeses that are not available at retail. Deepening the relationship between the people who make the product with the people who enjoy it is the essence of every activity that Savvy Company creates.

Visit www.savvycompany.ca or follow on social media channels:

Instagram: @savvycompanyinc
Facebook: SavvyCompany
Twitter: @SavvyCompany

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Finding your Whey with local artisan cheese

Posted by Vanessa

Tuesday, May 6th, 2014
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Hot off the press!  This cheese-y article appeared in the latest issue of Grapevine Magazine loaded with our Cheese Sommelier – Vanessa SimmonsTop 10 Tips on where to find, how to buy & tasting tips on enjoying artisan cheeses.

Navigating the world of artisan cheese is something like dating.  You never truly know what you’re getting into until you spend the time, experiment and have several encounters, noticing the person’s character traits, appearance and mannerisms in a variety of situations.  Only then do you discover the true personality of an individual or, in this case…a piece of cheese.

Here are 10 ways to really get to know your cheese better:

Vanessa Simmons - Savvy Company Cheese SommelierSpend time at your local farmer’s market

Chances are you’ll find a cheesemaker at most Ontario farmer’s markets.  Visit often, ask a lot of questions and taste something new each time.  Seek out jams, jellies, chutneys, honey, charcuterie, pates, artisan breads and crackers as well as ripe, in season produce to complement your cheese.  Inquire whether there might be a wheel specially aged or a new cheese in development to test. Experiment.

Visit a local cheesemaker at their production facility

Call first to introduce yourself and confirm availability. If it’s your lucky day, you’ll be able to actually see cheese being made and perhaps participate.  One of my earliest and most memorable WOW cheese moments was scooping warm, fresh, soft, moist, silky cheese curds right out of the vat with my bare hands and slurping them up.  Pure heaven.  To this day I remember the cheesemaking experience at Fifth Town Cheese in Prince Edward County that gave me a true appreciation for the work that goes into producing artisan cheese.

Try a variety of milk types and categories of cheese

Fresh cheeses taste most like the real milk flavor of cow, sheep, goat or even water buffalo milk.  Cheeses that are aged longer are more complex with developed flavors that give character.  In Canada alone there are over 2000 types of cheese ranging from fresh, soft and un-ripened, soft and ripened to semi-soft, firm, washed rind, cheddar, hard and blue cheeses.  Be sure to nibble on them all (even the blues).  If you don’t like the cheese’s appearance, close your eyes and taste.

Compare “grocery store” generic brand cheese with artisan cheese

Upper Canada Cheese Co Niagara Gold by Vanessa Simmons largeCheck the same category of cheese you would buy at the grocery store with what an artisan cheesemaker produces.  Note the flavors, texture and characteristics, or more commonly, lack thereof.  Read labels to confirm the cheese is made with 100% natural Canadian milk and doesn’t contain modified milk ingredients.  You’ll quickly realize the differences and merit of choosing local artisan cheese.

Buy the same cheese from various sources

cheese-of-the-year-1000-mar-19-copyThere are so many opportunities to buy cheese…at the market, cheesemongers, or direct from the manufacturer, to get a sense of what is normal for a particular cheese.  Not all cheeses are handled properly through the supply chain and even cheese has a bad or off day every once and a while that will affect flavor, aroma, texture and appearance.  My experience judging the Canadian Cheese Awards was a good example of this – some submissions weren’t truly at their best.  Buying direct from the cheesemaker will give you a good benchmark to measure against over time.

Track your tastings and do some research

Keep a cheese journal.  Note date purchased, date made/age (ask), where you bought it, price, amount, and your thoughts.  Record what you see, smell, feel and savor over time (size, colors, texture, distinguishing features, ripeness).  List words you use as descriptors such as mushroomy, velvety, creamy, buttery, grassy, vegetal, barny, oozy, gritty, pasty, chalky, smooth, sweet and fruity.  Not sure how to describe?  Close your eyes and picture yourself in a farmer’s field with the sun shining and see what comes to mind.  Check websites and reviews (but be cautious, much of what is published can be re-postings of the content of others).  In some cases reviewers are writing about cheeses and pairings they’ve never tasted themselves.

Pair with wine (don’t forget bubbly & rosé), local beer & even cider!

beercheeseGather friends, fabulous fromage and your favorite local wine, craft beers and ciders.  Conduct a tasting of the cheeses first then mix n’ match with your bevvies and let the games begin.  Note popular pairings and throw standard pairing rules out the window.

Sample the same cheese over time

Taste at the beginning of summer, middle/end of summer and over the winter months.  Do you notice a difference in flavor, complexity or terroir (reflection of the milk by region)?  Record your findings.

Hang out with cheesy peoplecheese festival logo

If you’re really passionate about Canadian cheese get your curd loving self to The Great Canadian Cheese Festival June 7/8 in Prince Edward County.  Canada’s largest gathering of artisan cheese producers offers the best chance to do some serious experimentation with 4000+ cheesy friends.  I’ll be there with the Savvy Company team. Track down Canadian Cheese Award winners. While in town visit Black River Cheese, Ontario’s oldest diary co-op.  Sample their new-on-the-market honey and wine-soaked cheddars, and popular maple cheddar.  Also make it a point to drop by Fifth Town Cheese, who are now under new management and warrant a stop for local products.

Taste, taste, taste!

Celtic blueOf all ten tips, this is the most important in truly getting to know your artisan cheese. Pick a handful of your favorite cheeses and make it a priority to really be mindful and fully aware (like yoga for cheese) of your experience with that cheese over a period of one-year minimum.

How do you know you’ve found “the one”? Keep trying until a cheese gives you an OMG reaction where your eyes pop out of your head, your heart sings, and you experience that oh-so-orgasmic feeling on your palate right down to the tips of your toes.  Then repeat & share with friends.

At the end of all of that hard work, you’ll have discovered the cheese love of your life and can continue your journey to explore new artisan cheeses.

 

This article has been reposted with the permission of Grapevine Magazine.

More about Vanessa Simmons – our Savvy Cheese Sommelier 

Vanessa Simmons is the cheese sommelier at Savvy Company in Ottawa, spending countless hours with regional cheese mongers and cheesemakers.  Vanessa has studied with Cheese Education Guild (Level 2), Toronto, and Le Cordon Bleu Culinary Arts Institute, Basic Cuisine Certificate, Ottawa; has worked as a chef and her popular tasting seminars & speaking events throughout Ontario make for a delicious discovery of Canadian artisan cheeses.

She’s been seen & heard on Rogers TV Daytime, CTV Morning Live, CBC Radio & Radio Canada, RubyTV, has been 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 & inaugural 2014 Canadian Cheese Awards and it’s been noted by The Toronto Star that she is “openly fanatical about artisan cheese”. Follow Vanessa @savvyvanessa or read her popular “Curd On the Street” blog posts.

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