Posts Tagged ‘Fromagerie Les Folies Bergères’

It’s ALL Outstanding!

Posted by Debbie

Wednesday, November 15th, 2017
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A cool shopping experience awaits at Outstanding in their Fields Taste & Buy .  It’s our 6th annual event were you’ll discover hard-to-find wines, craft beers & ciders from all across Ontario & Quebec. Here is a peek of what will be open for you to sip & sample.

Got your Tickets?

Our Taste & Buy events always sell out.  AND we know that everyone has a full calendar at this time of the year, so we are are hosting Outstanding in their Fields – in 2 places. 

Almonte – Wednesday November 22
More deets & buy tickets >>

Ottawa – Thursday November 23
More deets & buy tickets >>

Mark our words, it will be our BIGGEST Taste & Buy event – EVER! Guaranteed to get you geared up for holiday parties AND a head start on shopping for gifts.

 

Have a look who is coming  to Ottawa from Lake Erie North Shore, Prince Edward County, Niagara, Ottawa Valley & Quebec too!

4 DEGREES BREWING CO.

True North of 7 $2.75

True South of 7 $2.75

Frost & Wood 55 $3.00

Old Slys ’69 $3.00

CARTWRIGHT SPRINGS BREWERY  

SMASH $3.99 (473 ml can)

Pakenham Bitter $3.99 (473 ml can)

Kinburn Honey Lager $3.99 (473 ml can)

Chocolate Stout $3.99 (473 ml can)

 

BROKEN STONE WINERY

2017 Rosie Poésie $19.95

2016 Chardonnay Barrel Reserve $22.95

2016 Cabernet Franc $19.95

2016 Exuberance Sparkling Riesling $24.95

 

CASA-DEA ESTATES WINERY

2016 Dea’s Cuvée Sparkling $20.95

2016 Melon de Bourgogne $20.95

2012 Pinot Noir $19.95 (regular $21.95)

2012 Desidario $22.95

2014 Cabernet Franc Reserve $26.95  

 

CREEKSIDE ESTATE WINERY

2016 Marianne Hill Riesling $22.00

2016 Iconoclast Semillon/Sauvignon Blanc $23.00  (AWARD ALERT!!! Won Best of Show White Wine at last week’s Royal Winter Fair)

2016 Pinot Noir Rose $23.00

2015 Shiraz Cabernet $19.95

2015 Laura’s Red $22.00

2015 Iconoclast Syrah $25.00

 

FARMGATE CIDER

Mid Season Dry (500ml) $10

Mid Season Off Dry (500ml) $10

Wild Apple (500ml) $10

Blush (500ml) $10

 

 

FERME GUY RIVEST

Crème de Fraises $18.00

Perles de Fraises $15.00

 

HUFF ESTATES WINERY

2011 Cuvee Janine (Rosé) Sparkling $30.00

2016 Riesling Off Dry $20.00

2016 Pinot Gris $22.00

2016 Rosé Price $19.00

2015 South Bay Merlot $35.00

 

KARLO ESTATES 

2016 Lake on the Mountain Riesling $19.00

2016 Gewürztraminer $22.00

2016 Estate Grown Chardonnay $35.00

2016 Patio Reserve Rosé $18.00

2016 Marquette $20.00

2016 Estate Grown Pinot Noir $65.00

2016 VanAlstine White $45.00

2016 VanAlstine Red $39.00

 

KEINTHE WINERY & VINEYARDS

2015 Voyageur Gewurztraminer $20.00

2014 Portage Chardonnay $25.00

2013 Frost Road Chardonnay $30.00

2014 Portage Pinot Noir $30.00

2013 Queenston Road Pinot Noir $30.00

 

KIN VINEYARDS

2016 Understory Vidal Blanc – $19.95

2016 Civil Grit Chardonnay – $22.95

2016 KIN Chardonnay – $29.95

2016 KIN Pinot Noir – $29.95

 

LEGENDS ESTATES WINERY

2013 Sauvignon Blanc Reserve $16.95

2013 Chardonnay Reserve $18.95

2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve $21.95

2012 Merlot Reserve $21.95

2012 Petit Verdot Reserve $22.95

2012 Shiraz Reserve $23.95

 

LONDON BORN WINE CO.

2015 Aure Blanc De Noirs Sec $22.95 (a unique Sparkling White Gamay)

2016 Viognier $15.95

2016 Pinot Blanc $16.95

2015 Marechal Foch $27.95

2012 Aure Reserve Cabernet Franc $35.00

 

MELDVILLE WINES

2016 Chardonnay $20.20

2016 Sauvignon Blanc $20.20

2016 Canadian Oak Chardonnay $27.20

2016 Pinot Noir $27.20

2016 Syrah $27.20

2015 Cabernet Franc $27.20

 

ROSEWOOD ESTATES WINERY

2016 Süssreserve Riesling $15.95

2015 Origin Riesling $15.95

2016 Locked & Loaded White $16.95

2015 Locked & Loaded Red $19.95

 

SOUTHBROOK VINEYARDS

2013 Poetica Chardonnay $49.95

2016 Estate Cabernet Rosé $29.95

2016 Triomphe Organic Cabernet Franc $24.95

2013 Poetica Red $69.95

2014 Organic Vidal Icewine $49.95 (375 ml bottle)

 

SPRUCEWOOD SHORES ESTATE WINERY

2016 Sparkling Riesling $20.15

2016 Rosé $16.15

2016 Unoaked Chardonnay $14.95

2015 Cabernet Sauvignon $18.15

2015 Meritage Hawk’s Flight Reserve $25.15

 

THE GOOD EARTH FOOD & WINE CO.

2016 Pinot Grigio $17.95

2015 Chardonnay $24.95

2015 Gamay Noir $21.95

2015 Pinot Noir $24.95

TWO SISTERS VINEYARDS

2016 Sauvignon Blanc $34.00

2013 Eleventh Post $42.00

2013 Cabernet Franc $49.00

 

VIENI ESTATES WINES

Momenti Sparkling $13.95

2013 Classic Brut $19.95

2012 Bruce Trail Red Sparkling $12.95 (Reg $15.95)

2016 Pinot Grigio $14.95

2014 Red Trillium Ripasso $16.95

2013 Aglianico Reserve $24.95

2014 Sparkling Vidal Icewine $49.95

Maple Brandy $59.95

 

VIGNOBLE CARONE WINE

2015 BIN 33 Red $17.00

2014 VERITÀ Red $18.00

 

WESTCOTT VINEYARDS

2016 Violette Sparkling Brut $25.95

2013 Brilliant Sparkling $32.95

2016 Estate Chardonnay $25.95

2013 Estate Pinot Noir $30.00

2015 Estate Pinot Noir $30.00

 

 

Can’t come to the event? You can still order…

Order online & we’ll ship anywhere in Ontario. Call the Savvy Team on 613-SAVVYCO (728-8926) or cheers@savvycompany.ca for the complete list of wines, craft beers & ciders you can order. We’ll even help you make your shopping list!

FREE delivery applies to orders received by midnight on Sunday November 26.

 

 

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Less than 80 tickets left! Got yours?

Posted by Debbie

Tuesday, May 9th, 2017
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It is happening next week – Prince Edward County is coming to Ottawa! Over 150 bottles of hard-to-find wines, craft beers, ciders & artisanal spirits will be open for you to taste…and buy. None of these gems are at the LCBO.

County in the Capital is a discovery & tasting experience like no other. You’ll sip & savour new bevvies, meet the makers…then order your favorites to be delivered to your doorstep. It’s the SAVVY way to shop.

Promo Held Over!
Buy a ticket + get one for FREE

Great for a date night  OR  round up a bunch of friends.
You don’t want to miss having all of Prince Edward County under one roof

Look who is coming…

401 Cider Brewery * Barley Days Brewery * Casa-Dea Estates Winery * Clafeld Fruit Winery & Cider House * County Cider Company * Devils Wishbone Winery * Half Moon Bay Winery * Huff Estates Winery * Karlo Estates Winery * Keint-He Winery & Vineyards * Kinsip House of Fine Spirits (formerly 66 Gilead) * Lacey Estates * Lighthall Vineyards * Stanners Vineyard * The Grange * Trail Estates Winery * Traynor Family Vineyard * Waupoos Estates

 

Click here for a list of everything you can Try & Buy >>
TIP: You won’t find ANY of these bevvies at the LCBO

 

Gourmet Goodies too!

Discover got-to-have products & artisan creations by: Abeego * Emerson Pringle Carpentry * Fifth Town Artisan Cheese * La Fromagerie les Folies Bergeres * Lighthall Dairy * Prince Edward County Hot Sauce

 

Travel tips

And to top it all off, County in the Capital is your chance to get the ‘inside scoop’ on top things to do & places to visit from Prince Edward County Tourism.

 

Event Deets

DATE: Thursday, April 20
COOL VENUE! Horticulture Building (in the Lansdowne Complex near TD Place)
V.I.T. RECEPTION: 5 to 7pm – V.I.T. Passes required
MAIN TASTING EVENT: 7 to 9pm

ADVANCE TICKETS ONLY
$80 per person + bring a friend for FREE
A group of 4 for $150

Prices include absolutely everything – all samples, a Savvy tasting glass & good ol’ HST

 

Be a V.I.T.

A Very Important Taster! For an additional $25 upgrade your ticket & get a V.I.T. Pass to enjoy red carpet treatment & advance access from 5 to 7pm, then stay as long as you like for the main event.

Click to get your tickets >>
This event will sell out soon…

Order your favorites! Shipping is FREE.

EVERYTHING featured at County in the Capital is not at the LCBO.

It is easy & hassle free to order – exactly like ordering from Amazon or an online store. Create your order as you taste the bevvies at the event or order online afterwards. Order 6 or more bottles of ANY combo of your favorite bevvies & we’ll deliver to your home or office – FREE.

 

Can’t make it but want to order?

Call the Savvy Team on 613-SAVVYCO (728-8926) to place your order & get FREE shipping. Deadline for all orders: April 23 @ midnight.

Next Event: A concert like NO other!

We are excited to announce our involvement in bringing one of Canada’s finest musicians – Chantal Kreviazuk – to Ottawa for a special concert on Friday May 26.

Sponsored by Deloitte, this new event is part of the Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend & Ottawa 2017.

Only 300 tickets for this VIP concert featuring a world renown Canadian artist that includes canapes & Canadian wine all night long. After the show, Chantal will open the floor for an interactive chat about performing on the world stage.

To top it all off, you’ll be in the company of former Governor General Michaelle Jean & her husband Jean-Daniel Lafond.

Get your tickets to this one-of-a-kind concert >>

 

Always great things going on at Savvy Company!
– Debbie & the Savvy Team

Savvy Company
613-SAVVYCO
 (728-8926)
cheers@savvycompany.ca
www.savvycompany.ca

Keep in touch with us…
@SavvyDebbie
@SavvyCompany
@SavvyWines
@SavvyHipHops
@SavvyCoolCurds
#CountyintheCapital
www.facebook.com/SavvyCompany
instagram.com/savvycompanyinc

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 It Ain’t Easy Being Cheesy

Posted by Debbie

Friday, January 8th, 2016
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cheese-board-slider

Are you often mesmerized by the number of different cheeses? There are so many interesting wedges and rounds that it is hard to know where to start. In the latest issue of Ottawa Life Magazine, our Cheese Sommelier Vanessa Simmons advises, “Try it all! Good cheese shops in town will offer you a small slice to sample.”

And you don’t have to look farther than our own backyard for artisan cheese that rivals any around the globe. A few months ago, Glengarry Fine Cheese located in Alexandria (35 minutes from downtown Ottawa) was awarded Best of Show for its Celtic Blue Reserve at the 2015 American Cheese Society Awards. In November at the World Cheese Awards, Prince Edward Island’s Cow’s Creamery won Super Gold in the Vintage Cheddar category for its Avonlea Clothbound Cheddar. To add to this high acclaim, this unique cheddar was named one of the top 16 cheeses in the world.

Spend your time searching for good cheese

Like wine and craft beer, not everything that the cheesemaker creates is readily available at your local grocery store. Farm Boy, Whole Foods, Metro and some Loblaws locations all have decent Canadian cheese selection. Specialty stores like Jacobsons (New Edinburgh), Nicastro’s (Westboro & downtown), Serious Cheese (Kanata) and The Piggy Market (Westboro) have even a greater selection of hard-to-come-by artisan cheeses.

CoolCurds_mail-2Or…have it delivered to your door!

Rather than running around all these stores, you can have cheese delivered. There is a new ‘whey’ to discover artisan cheeses made across Canada…subscribing to Savvy Cool Curds artisan cheese-of-the-month club. “It is our way of forging a connection between the dynamic people who make artisan cheeses and the consumers who enjoy it at home”, explains Simmons. Each month a different Canadian cheesemaker is showcased and Simmons curates 4 to 5 different cheeses in a parcel that is delivered to the subscriber’s home or office. “To add to the enjoyment of each bite of cheese, I share the stories behind the uber-talented, passionate, creative and often eclectic cheesemakers. Each person has an interesting story that makes their cheese even richer.”

Meet Cheese Sommelier Vanessa Simmons

Vanessa Simmons - Savvy Company Cheese SommelierThere is no one better suited than Vanessa Simmons to select the best in Canadian cheese to discover each month. Savvy Cool Curds is hands-down a great idea. I see it each year at our festival, consumers want local…they want Canadian!” says Georgs Kolesnikovs, Founder of The Great Canadian Cheese Festival.

What’s in the box?

Every month subscribers will receive a parcel hand-delivered containing 4 to 5 different wedges and rounds between 200 to 250 grams each. The assortment of farmstead and artisan cheeses are at their peak ripeness and ready to simply be unwrapped and served. From fresh to washed or aged, made using  cow’s milk, goat’s milk, sheep’s milk and on occasion – buffalo milk; all told, the parcel will be approximately 1 kilogram of delicious Canadian artisan cheese.

Coming soon

Cheese lovers will be in heaven when their monthly parcel arrives from these cheesemakers: Gunn’s Hill Artisan Cheese (Ontario), Cow’s Creamery (PEI), Back Forty Artisan Cheese (Ontario), Fromagerie Les Folies Bergères (Quebec), and new on the scene in Prince Edward County Lighthall Vineyards & Dairy (Ontario). And that is just the beginning.

To top it all off, in each issue of the monthly Curd On The Street Magazine, Simmons’ shares her tasting notes, tips & tricks, along with cheese-laden recipes.

Seriously…Canadian artisan cheese delivered to your doorstep. Does life get any better than this?

 

This article will appear in the Feb/March 2016 Ottawa Life Magazine

 

 

 

 

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Our BIG CHEESE News!

Posted by Debbie

Tuesday, December 15th, 2015
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cheese-board-slider

ANNOUNCING: New cheese-of-the-month club delivers hard-to-come-by Canadian artisan cheeses Savvy Company launches ‘Savvy Cool Curds’.

Ottawa-based Savvy Company just made it easier for cheese lovers to enjoy the growing number of artisan cheeses being produced across Canada. Today Savvy Company has launched Canada’s first cheese-of-the-month club that hand delivers ready-to-enjoy Canadian artisan cheeses to your doorstep. Known for its wine & craft beer expertise and innovative Taste and Buy events, Savvy Company has expanded its business to work with cheesemakers, creating yet another innovative way of connecting consumers with producers with this new service.  Well-known Savvy Company Cheese Sommelier, Vanessa Simmons, will curate Savvy Cool Curds.

CoolCurds_mail-2“The artisan cheese industry in Canada is growing tremendously and making an incredible impression on the world stage.  Just last week at the World Cheese Awards, Prince Edward Island’s Cow’s Creamery won SuperGold in the Vintage Cheddar category for its Avonlea Clothbound Cheddar and it was named one of the top 16 cheeses in the world! In August, Ontario’s Glengarry Fine Cheese was awarded Best of Show for its Celtic Blue Reserve at the 2015 American Cheese Society Awards,” says Savvy Company president and sommelier Debbie Trenholm.

“Artisan cheese is a perfect pairing with wine or craft beer.  We offer Savvy Selections wine-of-the-month club and Savvy Hip Hops craft beer-of-the-month club which have both become the largest in Ontario.  Launching Savvy Cool Curds was a natural progression, seizing yet another opportunity to wave the Canadian flag.”

savvy_coolcurds_ColourEvery month Savvy Cool Curds subscribers will receive a parcel hand-delivered on the Wednesday closest to the 15th of the month.  A delivery of Savvy Cool Curds will contain 4 to 5 different wedges and rounds between 200 to 250 grams each.  A variety of farmstead and artisan cheeses have been hand-selected by Simmons and the month’s featured cheesemaker to ensure seasonality and peak ripeness for immediate enjoyment.  From fresh to washed or aged and made using various milks – cow, goat, sheep and on occasion – buffalo; all told, the parcel will be approximately 1 kilogram of delicious Canadian artisan cheese.

To further the enjoyment & discovery of the featured cheeses, subscribers will receive the Curd on the Street eZine – a monthly mini magazine with the insider scoop, Cheese Sommelier’s tasting notes, tips & tricks along with cheese-laden recipes.

“Savvy Cool Curds is hands-down a great idea. There is no one better suited than Vanessa Simmons to select the best in Canadian cheese to discover each month. I’m sure the cheese-of-the-month club will succeed because consumers want local…they want Canadian,” says Georgs Kolesnikovs, Founder of The Great Canadian Cheese Festival held annually in Picton, Ontario.

“The team at Savvy Company is great & having this opportunity to be featured in Savvy Cool Curds is exciting for us. Anyone who has met Vanessa Simmons quickly sees that she is passionate about Canadian cheese. She has developed strong ties to the cheesemakers & has made countless contributions to promoting local, regional, provincial & national cheesemakers.  Subscribers to Savvy Cool Curds will benefit from her personal connections…the best part is that all of the cheese discoveries will be Canadian,” glows Maggie Paradis, owner & cheesemaker, Fromagerie Les Folies Bergères in Quèbec.

The feature cheesemakers to date for 2016 include:Vanessa Simmons - Savvy Company Cheese Sommelier

January Gunn’s Hill Artisan Cheese, Woodstock (ON)
FebruaryCow’s Creamery, Charlottetown (PEI)
MarchBack Forty Artisan Cheese, Lanark (ON)
April Fromagerie Les Folies Bergères, St-Sixte, (QC)
May Lighthall Vineyards & Dairy, Prince Edward County (ON)

To subscribe for four, six, 12 months or longer, visit www.savvycoolcurds.ca.
Holiday Promo – subscribe for 6 or 12 months before December 30th & the subscription cost will be $55 per month (regular $60).

“As soon as Debbie told me about Savvy Cool Curds, I wanted to be featured. In fact, a cheese-of-the-month club is so incredible, that I am going to subscribe!” supports Glenn Symons, owner, winemaker & assistant cheesemaker, Lighthall Vineyards & Dairy.

“Consumers have fallen in love with artisan cheese. It is amazing. We have people who have subscribed to both our wine & craft beer of-the-month-clubs.  Now, their fridge will be full!’ exclaims Trenholm.

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More about Savvy Company

Savvy Company specializes in creative social experiences – whether making the enjoyment of wine accessible to all, exploring the worlds of craft beer or discovering artisan cheeses. Their team of accredited Sommeliers delight in designing wine, beer and artisan events, shining the spotlight on the people who make them.  Their Savvy Selections wine-of-the-month club is Ontario’s largest featuring Ontario wines not available in the LCBO, while Savvy Hip Hops has rapidly grown to be Ontario’s largest craft beer-of-the-month club.  Recently Savvy Company launched Savvy Cool Curds – Canada’s first artisan cheese-of-the-month club. Visit www.savvycompany.ca, follow @SavvyCompany or @SavvyVanessa on Twitter.

 

Media Contact:
Debbie Trenholm
Founder & Sommelier
Savvy Company
debbie@savvycompany.ca
@savvydebbie
613.SAVVYCO (613.728.8926)
cell: 613-851-1785

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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!
 

 

 

 

 

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Cheese For Chillin’ Out

Posted by Vanessa

Thursday, September 20th, 2012
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My cheese pick this week is a reflection of the cheesemaker herself.  Maggie Paradis of Fromagerie Les Folies Bergères in Ste. Sixte, Quebec, is laid-back, chill, goes with the flow (thus the cheese’s name) and doesn’t take life or herself too seriously (while remaining quite serious about making top notch artisan cheeses).

Among  the lineup of her famous soft cow, sheep and goat’s milk cheeses, La Coulée Douce is a 100% pure pasteurized, firm,  small wheel sheep’s milk cheese with an ivory slightly open (shows small holes) paste and thin, rustic, golden-hued washed rind.  Creamy aromas compliment rich, milky, slightly toasty and fermented fruit flavors with a grassy finish making it the perfect match for Quebec iced or apple cider as used to wash the rind from neighboring Verger Croque-Pomme.  Serve shaved on warm homemade peach or apple pie.  Find at The Piggy Market (Westboro) or at the Savour Ottawa Field House at Parkdale Market this season.

 

 

FACTBOX:
Cheese:  La Coulée Douce
Producer: Fromagerie Les Folies Bergères
PHOTO CREDIT:  La Coulée Douce by Vanessa Simmons

 

 

 

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Sizzlin’ for Summer: Cheese Thrill for the Grill

Posted by Vanessa

Friday, July 20th, 2012
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Inspired by a favorite seasonal pastime & soaring temperatures, Guernsey Girl, this week’s cheese pick, is one of a handful featured on CBC’s In Town and Out with Michael Bhardwaj, & the perfect cheese companion for summer grilling adventures.  To listen to the interview – Guernsey Girl – In Town and out with Michael Bhardwaj & Vanessa Simmons.

Handcrafted in Jordon Station, Niagara, the milk is sourced from one of only a handful of Guernsey cow herds in Canada who call local 145-year old Comfort Family Farm their home.  Upper Canada Cheese Company, known for legendary firm, washed-rind Niagara Gold & soft, surface-ripened Comfort Cream can be credited with my cheesey version of fun in the sun.

Guernsey cows yield richer milk, higher in butterfat & protein than other milks.  More enriched in beta carotene, the cheese’s brilliant yellow color intensifies during summer. Guernsey Girl falls into the “fresh, unripened” cheese category & is considered a grilling cheese styled after Finnish bread cheese Juustoleipa or better known Halloumi.

Sometimes called a “bread cheese”, Guernsey Girl develops a crispy, toasty almost crunchy crust-like coating on the outside with pan frying or grilling & soft, gooey inside, yet remarkably still retains its form.  Caramelized, sweet, smoky & salty flavors combine with fresh milk taste & squeaky texture similar to fresh cheddar curds.  Any way you sear, skewer, slice or stack it – the keys to success are a clean, hot grill (med-high heat),  patting dry the cheese first, a little bit of patience & having extra on hand for your first attempt.  The final result is so worth the effort!

Guernsey Girl is available at Sobeys & select Metro & Loblaws stores.  Other great grillers include Halloumi (many varieties available at most grocery stores, or Middle Eastern Market Al Kalal on Kirkwood), fresh local feta (Clarmell Farms at the Manotick or Kanata Farmers’ Market, or Canreg Station Farm at Ottawa Farmer’s Market), or small soft wheels of goat or sheep’s milk  from Fromagerie Les Folies Bergères at il Negozio Nicastro on Wellington, or the Parkdale Market.  Buy these a little young for the BBQ, give them 2-3 mins on each side & watch them closely as these will melt.

Grilling cheeses are a great protein substitute for vegetarians (the ultimate in “grilled cheese”), served on their own as a side dish, or substituted into a Caprese salad for a change, with fresh tomatoes & basil, olive oil drizzle & balsamic.  They even work as dessert with fresh grilled pineapple, peaches, or plums, macerated berries & topped with a heaping scoop of Pascale’s goat cheese ice cream.

Catch more hot cheeses with Vanessa at upcoming HerbFest on July 29th, 2012 during her demo Summer Sizzlers – A Tasty Discovery of What’s Hot in Local Artisan Cheese from 9:30am – 10:30am & July 31 where artisan cheeses join grill favorites such as shrimp on the barbie as Savvy Company goes downunder during “Let’s go to Australia”, a fun evening featuring favorite summertime Australian wines.

FACTBOX:
Cheese: Guernsey Girl
Producer: Upper Canada Cheese Company
Interesting Fact: Guernsey Girl’s resistance to melting is due to a higher level of acidity and more closely knit protein network with tighter bonds that are harder to break when exposed to heat.

Enjoy! – Vanessa

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The Best of the Fest …Cheese Festival that is!

Posted by Vanessa

Thursday, June 14th, 2012
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I laughed, I cried (they were tears of joy for the abundance of cheese), and ate a heck of a lot of cheese. Close to 4000 cheeselovers assembled in Picton, (aka Prince Edward County) June 1st to 3rd to celebrate their love for curd at The Great Canadian Cheese Festival. A plethora of over 125 different types of cheese showcasing our nation’s best from PEI to Vancouver Island were ripe and ready – soft cheese, hard cheese, blue cheese, stinky cheese, pungent cheese, young and old cheese, rustic cheese, raw cheese, and sheep, cow, goat and even buffalo milk cheese.  Joining them in the Artisan Cheese & Fine Food Fair were all the best compliments to cheese — artisan foods of crackers, breads, charcuterie, jams, chutneys, jellies, honey, and fine wines, ciders, and craft beer.

I was adamant to not miss a single second of my cheesey weekend, and so planned to leave on Thursday early evening.  After packing the car to the hilt with event supplies, my large electric cooler, and other cheesey bits and pieces for my tutored tasting I was on the road again, although much later than expected, but happy my destination yet again involved cheese.  Of course, I had to fit in a last minute stop/cheese pick up at Clarmell Farms on the way, for chèvre & goat gouda cheese as a special treat for the Cooks & Curds Gala chefs on Saturday night.  Big hugs and thanks to Paul & Grace Mussell for the snack & extra coffee to keep me awake as I hit the road.

Rain, rain go away!  Friday began ducking raindrops during quick wine stops at Rosehall Run & Huff Estates before heading to the Crystal Palace to check out the site and check in for volunteer duties.  Despite crappy weather, the show must go on – dedicated volunteers diligently worked to set up the site, get exhibitors moved in, assemble registration packages, complete guest cooler bags, get volunteers oriented, cut & organize cheese, direct trucks/rentals arriving, set up special event facilities, and decorate, among many other logistical tasks. Amid very organized chaos, everyone silently prayed as one mind to the cheese gods for beautiful weather Saturday and Sunday (thank you, cheese gods).  Friday ended with a casual meet & greet of the stellar lineup of chefs featured at Saturday’s Cooks & Curds Gala, courtesy of Swallow’s Ivy Knight, chef wrangler extraordinaire, Ottawa’s own Michael Blackie  – Executive Chef of the National Arts Centre – among them.

Saturday started peacefully with more prayers (thank you, cheese gods) and quickly turned to cheese frenzy with tutored tastings on cheddar & cheese 101, ongoing demos, sampling of all kinds, a cheese food court, Food Network celebrity Bob Blumer’s grilling artisan cheese pizza, and me taking it all in from behind the scenes helping cheesemakers, selling cheese, and organizing hospitality for the chefs, post-gala.  Congrats to Chef Michael Blackie for top honors for the second year in a row, recognized by the People’s Choice Award he shared with Montreal’s Francois Gagnon at Cooks & Curds for his delicious Highland Blue Cubic Melt.   An outstanding 400 guests took part in the strolling dinner.

Family day Sunday arrived too early after a late night, but provided more of an opportunity to chill & chat with the Quebec cheesemakers featured in my “Taste of Quebec” tutored session and sample my picks one last time.  I wandered at a more leisurely pace to nibble on yet more cheese, take in the milking demo, photograph Yvette the water buffalo in the dairy farm before showcasing the best of La Belle Provence. I was pleasantly surprised to see friend & Ottawa cheesemonger Peter Fiander volunteering with the prep team in the kitchen under the guidance of newly certified Cheese Sommelier and festival cheesemonger Jackie Armet.  Thanks to Savour Ottawa member Maggie Paradis, of Fromagerie les Folies Bergères for the spotlight goat milk cheese on my plate – soft, surface-ripened La Sorcière Bien Aimée.  Made on April 24, our advanced planning made sure it was perfectly “à point”.  Jackie’s daughter Clare can certainly attest – she enjoyed every finger lickin’ moment of it.

Volunteering is a great way to get closer to cheese, meet cheesemakers and increase your cheese IQ.  Consider joining the cheese team for 2013.

All in all it was a whirlwind, but super cheesey weekend.  Here’s my roundup of “Best of the Fest” and here’s a look at the photos I took too!  Just looking at them will make you hungry!

–  Monforte Dairy launching a new Spanish-styled, dry, crumbly, pasteurized sheep’s milk blue – rustic, powerful – and in need of a name – tweet @monfortedairy  if you have ideas for Ruth.  The Piggy Market carry Monforte products locally.  My tasting notes for Black Sheep can be found here

–  Glengarry Fine Cheese expanding their horizons with a new artisan buffalo milk blue and goat gouda made with milk from Clarmell Farms. Often found at the Ottawa Farmer’s Market, Thyme & Again Creative Catering, Farm Boy, Sobey’s, The Piggy Market, and Serious Cheese

– Tosano sheep’s milk cheese from Mariposa DairyI was thrilled to again try my outstanding cheese bite for 2011, Lindsay Bandaged Cheddar which is rarely available anywhere – if you see it, snap it up without hesitation.

–  New friends at Seed to Sausage – best pairing of charcuterie for cheese around (also great party pals).  Available at The Ottawa Bagel Shop & The Piggy Market locally as well as being featured at Play Food & Wine, Beckta Dining & Wine, Murray Street Kitchen, and Town, among others. The venison and fennel salami was a fave.  Thanks again for your support!

–  Shout out to budding cheesemakers at Gunn’s Hill Artisan Cheese – in business for a mere 6 months now, and new on the Ontario cheesemaking scene with Gouda & Swiss style soft, firm and hard farmstead cow’s milk cheeses.

–  BackForty Artisan Cheese, even with a change of ownership to Jeff & Jenna Fenwick still continues to shine with Madawaska, Bonnechere, and beautiful rustic wheels of Highland Blue.  We look forward to tasting Jeff’s own creations in 2013 (or sooner in Ottawa!).  Look for them at the Carp Farmer’s market on Saturdays.

–  Cheesewerksthrilled to see my old cheesey classmate Kevin’s dream turned into reality – well done on the branding and delivering on the promise of superb artisan grilled cheese, as the festival’s Official Grilled Cheese.

–   Michael’s Dolce – with new Rhubarb & Black Pepper Jam (pair with Coulée Douce, Laliberté, Riopelle, Bliss or Figaro) & unbelievable Citrus Ginger Chutney (fresh chèvre, Sorcière Bien Aimée).  Peach Cardamom Jam is my pick for his most versatile, goes with every cheese flavor.  I had fun making pairing recommendations on the fly as we chatted with visitors at the Taste of Ottawa booth.

–   Thanks to friends of cheese – wine & craft beer makers Karlo Estates, Rosehall Run, Beau’s All Natural Brewing Company & Barley Days Brewery for the donations to keep our Cooks & Curds Gala chefs happy (very important to keep the chefs happy, so huge thank you!)

–  Hats off to The Ontario Waterbuffalo Company/Quality Cheese for their first ever cheddar made from waterbuffalo milk.  Mild, creamy & a great snack.

–  Always great to see friends Vicki from Empire Cheese (very creative, your new cheddars flavored with Mrs. McGarrigle’s Mustards), Black River Cheese (love Maple Cheddar), Best Baa Dairy (wouldn’t be a cheese fest without you, Eweda, Mouton Rouge & Ramembert), and the team from Glen Echo – featuring Cow’s Creamery Avonlea Clothbound Cheddar from PEI, Salt Spring Island Cheese (oh, Juliette!) & Kootenay Alpine Cheeses (Alpindon made its way into Bob Blumer’s blue cheese cappuccino)

Sightings of cheeseheads young and old sparks  an idea for 2013 – think there should be a cheesehead fashion show next year Georgs? King & Queen Curd perhaps?

–   Lise Morrisette & Plaisirs Gourmets who brought Quebec to Ontario including the talented Marie-Chantal Houde Fromagerie Nouvelle France maker of multi award-winning Zacharie Clouthier, her raw sheep’s milk cheese.  And, Jean Morin of Fromagerie du Presbytère  – his cheeses were an easy sell – they speak for themselves – Brie Paysan showing especially ripe & ready with rustic vegetal aromas & flavors, and renowned Bleu D’Elizabeth & Louis D’or , 9 month & rare 2 year.  If you see Jean at an event, ask him for the good stuff – he usually has it along with him hiding under the counter somewhere.

–  New from Niagara – Upper Canada Cheese’s Nosey Goat Camelot alongside classic Niagara Gold – a bit reminiscent of Cape Vessey – coming along nicely as a cheese, much further developed, soft, subtle than when first released.

–   Mad Mexican’s Jose Hadad provided my snack for the drive home to Ottawa. Amazing I didn’t end up with more of his salsa, roasted tomatillo/avocado and salsa verde in my lap.

–   Lastly stunning craft beer & cider matches in Beau’s Beaver River, Mill Street Brewery’s Wit & County Cider Company’s County Cider paired with robust cheeses from my Taste of Quebec session – best with Petits Vieux (Fromagerie Médard), Zacharie Clouthier, Fleuron (Les Fromagiers de la Table Ronde – it’s a beautiful thing), & Fromagerie F.X. Pichet’s organic Baluchon among others.

Hats (or cheeseheads) off to all the hardworking staff, volunteers, cheesemakers, artisan food producers, winemakers, presenters, chefs, celebrities, sponsors, speakers, supporters, mother nature and in particular, all you cheese lovers who attended for making this best celebration of Canadian curd yet.  If you didn’t make it, grab a pen and book the June 1st weekend in your calendar right now for the third annual Great Canadian Cheese Festival in 2013.

My photo album of The Cheese Festival is on Savvy Company’s Facebook page – enjoy!

-Vanessa

 

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Bewitched by La Sorcière Bien Aimée

Posted by Vanessa

Thursday, May 17th, 2012
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Inspired by her goat farming protégée and playing off popular TV series “Bewitched”, my cheesey pick this week, Maggie Paradis’ La Sorcière Bien Aimée, was born to add a brie type to the wonderful variety of other goat, cow and sheep’s milk cheeses produced by Fromagerie Les Folies Bergères. Not one to compromise quality or consistency, Maggie’s cheese must always be good or she won’t make it – pure and simple.

Handmade from whole natural milk, La Sorcière Bien Aimée has a good, clean goaty flavour with a hint of sweet grass and no bitterness, ammonia or aftertaste, even if a little overripe.   The paste is thick, smooth, creamy and silky, wild with mushroom aromas and a salty finish.  Specific cultures and a cheesemaker’s patience and care give these excellent results — not rushing is crucial. I love Maggie’s cheeky attitude as she describes the aging of La Sorcière… “the cheese pouts at first, then it will cry, becoming a weepy mess…”.  My sentiments exactly, only they’re tears of joy in this case.  Try it at my Taste of Quebec tutored tasting June 3 during The Great Canadian Cheese Festival in Prince Edward County.  www.cheesefestival.ca


 

FACTBOX:
Cheese:  La Sorcière Bien Aimée
Producer:  Fromagerie Les Folies Bergères
Interesting Fact:  Quebec cheeses can be sold in Ontario only if the cheesemaker is federally registered.

 

 Enjoy! – Vanessa

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TGIF! Fresh curds best whey to wrap up the week

Posted by Vanessa

Thursday, December 1st, 2011
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What better Friday treat for the whole family than farm fresh cheese curds?  This week’s cheese pick, curds from Fromagerie Les Folies Bergères would give Little Miss Muffet a run for her money.  Owner Maggie Paradis says “curds have faithful followers” and are widely loved and versatile – they go anywhere, with anything (and I might add, anyone.)

Cheesemaker expertise and fresh high quality milk are the secret to really good curds.  Maggie’s curds are a little sweeter and don’t have the heavy hit of salt you taste with most cheddar curds.  They’re moist, milky, warm, spongy, springy, softer, and have a less rubbery texture attributed to her patience and hand processing.  And, of course, they have the characteristic “squeak” experienced with fresh cheese curds (no squeak, not fresh!), best eaten within 12-24 hours and before refrigeration.

Find them fresh on Friday afternoons at newly renovated The Piggy Market (Westboro) or in the Savour Ottawa Parkdale Market Field House (until Dec. 17).


FACTBOX:
Cheese: La Fraîche de St. Sixte
Producer: Fromagerie Les Folies Bergères
Interesting Fact:
Curds are what is produced after milk is coagulated (curdled), and separated from the liquid (whey).  The “squeak” against your teeth from cheese curds is the result of what happens during the chedarring process as the cheese changes in structure.


Enjoy! – Vanessa

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