Posts Tagged ‘Metro Ottawa’

Savvy Company in the News….

Posted by Debbie

Thursday, January 3rd, 2013
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The team of Savvy Sommeliers are often called on by the media to be included in TV segments, featured in columns & blogs or interviewed on radio.  Here is a quick list of where you would recently seen and heard Savvy Company in the news.

In 2014

Debbie on CTV News at Noon

Wine & Cheese or should it be Beer & Cheese?  Debbie takes CTV News at Noon host Leanne Cusack on a delicious discovery of Ontario wines AND craft beers that pairs well with locally made artisan cheeses. Watch the 2 part segment >>

The Urbanite headlines ‘Craft beer-of-the-month-club puts beer in your mailbox’. Food & Drink columnist Natasha Marar interviews Debbie about Savvy Company’s newest venture – Savvy Hip Hops. Read the article>>

 

daytimeDebbie joined the airwaves to co-host with Derick Fage on Daytime Ottawa on Rogers TV.  Debbie & Derick have been in front of camera countless times before so it was undoubtedly be a fun show! Watch the host chat

 

Metro Ottawa News does a spread about the launch of our Savvy Hip Hops Craft Beer of the Month Club. Thanks to the Metroland team for always promoting local businesses! Read the article

The Ottawa Citizen showcased our  Savvy Selections wine of the month club as one of the ‘go to sources’ where you can buy wines that you have enjoyed at a restaurant.  Read the article>>

 

In 2013

Debbie continues to be called on as a guest contributor to Canada.com Weekly Wine Chat each Thursday at 2pm.  Join her along with other wine industry expert panelists chiming in from coast to coast.  Read the online chat

Vanessa is the ‘Grande Fromage’. French TV station Ruby TV went shopping for artisan cheese with our Cheese Sommelier Vanessa – toute en francais!   Watch the segment  Bravo Vanessa!

Debbie was nominated and selected by the Embassy of the United States in Canada to be one of six Canadian women to participate in the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) focusing on Women in Trade and Entrepreneurship.  She blogged along the way:  3 week, 5 cities, 6 women & 8 suitcases

 

 

In 2012

CBC Radio’s Fresh Air featured our Savvy Selections wine of the month club as one of the top gift ideas for those hard-to-buy-for people on your shopping list.  Listen to the segment.

Renowned wine writer Konrad Ejbich features our Savvy Selections wine of the month club in his ‘Gift for Geeks and Normal People too!’ blog for last minute wine gift ideas.

Savvy Company’s Outstanding in their Fields taste & buy events is one of Where Ottawa  Magazine’s Best Bets Weekend Roundup…alongside with Bruce Springsteen concert!

CBC Radio Ottawa Morning Karla Hilton states that Vanessa has the COOLest job as Cheese Sommelier.  Listen to  interview with Vanessa about local artisan cheese.

Blogger 2nd Ferment declares to its readers, “forget about the stock market & invest in Future wines from Lailey Vineyards”.  Great comments about a special taste & buy event hosted by Savvy Company.

Shari Goodman from Whisk: a food blog shares her food & wine discoveries at Ottawa’s first annual Winterlude Winemaker’s Brunch.

The Yummy Mummy Club was in Ottawa to take in Winterlude festivities.  While they were in town, Savvy Sommeliers Vanessa & Derek hosted a Blind Wine & Cheese tasting for them at the Lord Elgin Hotel.  Twitter was all a buzz during this fun evening.  See & read all about it!

Debbie & Vanessa were called in to host the Savvy Wine & Craft Beer Bar along with a Savvy Artisan Cheese Bar to give guests a taste of Ottawa for the Ottawa Tourism & Roots Canada media launch of  ‘Let’s Go Outside’ contest.  Media was all abuzz with photos, videos, blogs & Tweets including:

CBC Radio All in a Day called on Debbie to offer sparkling wine tips to usher in 2012. While on air, she explained how to WOW your New Year’s eve guests by sabering a bottle of bubbly!

In 2011
A BIG media day! On Thursday December 22,  Debbie appeared on CTV Morning Live Ottawa with 12 Savvy Gift Ideas.  Then on the CTV Ottawa News at 6, anchor Michael O’Byrne featues Savvy Selections wine of the month club as one of the hottest new gifts.  The phones continue to ring off the hook!

Wine Out Loud blogger Holy Bruns, highlights our Savvy Sommelier Julie’s blog about Cava wine.

Vanessa joins CBC Radio In Town & Out  host Michael Bhardwaj with her list of cheese-y gifts for everyone on your shopping list!

Ottawa Start highlights Debbie‘s involvement as co-host & auctioneer at Music & Beyond’s Holiday Wine Auction fundraiser

MoneySense Magazine calls on Debbie to provide Sommelier insider’s tips & tricks for feature article: A brilliant wine, everytime that appears in September/October issue.  Read article online

Ottawa Sun published a special Lifestyle Magazine where journalist Simon Forsyth interviewed Debbie for her insight & impressions on the winery owners who are pioneering a new wine region in Ottawa & surrounding areas.  Read article online

Sit.Sip.Savour. blogger Éva Nagy shares her delicious experience at the Great Canadian Cheese Discovery where Savvy Cheese Sommelier Vanessa showcased artisan cheeses from British Columbia, Nova Scotia & Prince Edward Island.

PRESS RELEASE: A Renaissance in Ottawa’s Little Italy. Preston Street is alive with this year’s celebration of Wine, Food & Art.

Articles written by Debbie & Kathryn appear in the special La Vendemmia edition of Metro Ottawa

Vanessa shares her story about a Friday night date with an Italian…Italian cheese that is! CBC Radio In Town & Out  host Michael Bhardwaj hears about the moving sensation when a wheel of Parmasean cheese is cut.

Debbie appeared on Rogers Daytime TV with tips on buying wines at a Music & Beyond’s upcoming Fine Wine Auction.

Debbie interviewed Canada’s popular Chef Michael Smith when he visited Ottawa to launch his new cookbook – Chef Michael Smith’s Kitchen.  Cooking tips & tricks were shared, while Michael encouraged us all to spend time with family at the kitchen table.

PRESS RELEASE: Preston Street BIA selects Savvy Company as Marketing Partner for annual La Vendemmia harvest festival.  Mark your calendars Sept 22-25 to join us for fun wine & food events.  More…

Vanessa joined CBC Radio’s In Town and Out host Michael Bhardwaj in studio to talk about artisan cheeses, cheesemaking & tasting tips. Listen

Debbie appeared on Rogers Daytime TV with tips on Ontario wines & craft beers to chill & enjoy in the shade during Ottawa’s record breaking heat wave.

Our Cheese Sommelier Vanessa  was on Rogers Daytime TV showcasing delicious Ontario artisan cheese offered tasting tips. Watch video 

Blogger Katy Watts joins our Savvy Cheese Sommelier Vanessa to learn the ‘whey’ about artisan cheeses from BC, Ontario and the Maritime provinces.  Katy reports that she was nervous at first, yet leaves full & with a greater appreciation for what goes into making cheese.

Debbie was on Daytime Ottawa show (Rogers TV) profiling a variety of newly released wines from Niagara-on-the-Lake wineries who will be in Ottawa on June 1st for the 52 New Wines from One Unforgettable Place wine tasting.

We were finalists in the Ottawa Tourism Partnership of the Year Award for our culinary events in partnership with Thyme & Again Creative Catering

Debbie was named Ottawa’s Entrepreneur Businesswoman of the Year Award finalist. With media coverage in the Ottawa Citizen, METRO Ottawa & EMC news

Agritourism Guide blogger Lara Bender showcases two upcoming Savvy Events in http://agritourismguide.ca/2011/05/10/cheese-and-wine-lovers-3-great-events-and-a-giveaway/

Vanessa showcased Ontario artisan cheeses on A Morning Show.  TV host Kurt Stoodley couldn’t stop nibbling on the cheese curds!

Savvy Company is named ‘Top 50 Sommelier & Master of Wine blogs’ as reported by Cindy Cullen, Culinary Arts College.

Launched in March, read weekly columns by Savvy Sommeliers in Metro Ottawa newspaper on Thursdays.  Susan shares wine shopping tips with “If I only had $100, I would buy at Vintages” while Vanessa showcases local artisan cheeses in her “The Curd on the Street” column.

Sit. Sip. Savour. blogger Éva Nagy just received her month Savvy Selections delivery featuring Creekside Estates Wine. http://sit-sip-savour.blogspot.com/2011/03/savvy-company-wine-club-march-selection.html

Debbie graces the pages of the Feb 14th issue of Hello! Canada Magazine featuring the Canadian Celebrity Chef Event that Savvy Company sponsored & were the Sommeliers for this first of its kind sold out event.

Get a taste of the wonderful experience with this YouTube video of the Canadian Celebrity Chef event.  Savvy Company was proud be involved.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MZnJElan0W4

Debbie hosts “Wine Shopping with a Sommelier” on A Morning Ottawa.  In the 4 TV segments, she offers tips on navigating through Vintages, picks good value wines and pairs wine with Food & Drink magazine recipes.

Vanessa shares her favorite cheese discovery in Cheeselover.ca Outstanding Cheese Bites of 2010.  Quebec artisan cheese Le Foin d’Odeur “is like licking buttered popcorn from your fingertips!”


Rave reviews from the media …
“Savvy Company’s craft beer tasting was a superlative event” – Ron Eade, Food Editor of the Ottawa Citizen 

“Thank you for hosting last night’s BC wine tasting event. I was particularly struck by the easy interactions between the Savvy Team and the participants (“not stuck up” is the way one person explained your events which is, I think, high praise for you and your team).  Of course, the highlight was the wine and the wonderful intro by the Sommeliers. I’ll be writing my blog tonight.”  – Clare Fowles, FoodiePrints

“The Great Canadian Cheese Discovery is a must do while in Ottawa. The class is a dinner party atmosphere, led by cheese sommelier Vanessa Simmons, who is openly fanatical about artisan cheeses.”Reb Stevenson Travel Writer, Toronto Star

 

 

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Pairing Cheese with Craft Beers

Posted by Vanessa

Thursday, June 28th, 2012
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Amongst the kettles, bags of hops and bottling lines four family run brewpubs and breweries – Kichesippi Beer Company, Ashton Brewing Company, Big Rig Brewery, The Clock Tower Pub celebrated Ontario Craft Beer Week at Savvy Company’s Artisan Cheese & Craft Beer Tasting.  For more pictures of this fun event, visit Savvy Company’s Facebook album.

As Paul Meek, owner of Kichesippi, told the sold out crowd, “while there are lots of beers here, artisan cheese and Cheese Sommelier Vanessa Simmons will be the rockstars”.   I selected regional artisan cheeses that would shine on their own, while provide a delicious compliment to the evening’s feature local brews.

Beer and cheese share a common origin – grain (beer made from grain, barley for example), and grain is fed to dairy animals, so with this cycle, it’s no wonder that the two are a true match. Engrained in ancient history, they are both primal foods: beer as the oldest fermented beverage and cheese with origins dating back to 8000 BCE.

Cheese and beer pairing is refreshing .  Beer balances out the salt content in cheese and cuts through protein/fats that sit on the tongue allowing a better tasting experience. I suggest to pair your cheese with a beer taking into consideration the weight of both, to ensure that one does not overpower the other (heavy beers with stronger cheeses – perfect match!).

 At the event, crowd favorite cheese and craft beer pairings included:

CHEESE: Goat Gouda  from Clarmell Farms, Osgoode, Ontario (goat milk)
BEER: Clocktower Kolsch or Ashton Blueberry Wheat

CHEESE: Bonnechere from Back Forty Artisan Cheese, Lanark, Ontario (sheep milk)
BEER: Big Rig Hefeweizen Wheat

CHEESE: Réserve La Pérade from Fromagerie F.X. Pichet Sainte-Anne-de-la-Pérade, Québec (cow milk)
BEER: Clocktower Red

CHEESE: Gré des Champs from Fromagerie Au Gré des Champs , Saint-Jean-Sur-Richelieu, Québec (cow milk)
BEER: Kichesippi 1855

CHEESE: Avonlea Clothbound Cheddar from Cow’s Creamery, Prince Edward Island (cow milk)
BEER: Ashton Brown Ale

CHEESE: Bleu D’Élizabeth from Fromagerie du Presbytère, Sainte-Élizabeth-de-Warwick, Québec (cow milk)
BEER: Kichesippi Heller High Water or Ashton Brown Ale

 

Where to buy these artisan cheeses?

Here’s my shopping list of where to find the beer friendly cheeses in Ottawa & area:

Goat Gouda – Clarmell Farms/Glengarry Fine Cheese
Available from:  Clarmell Farms/Glengarry Fine Cheese, Serious Cheese Shop, Ottawa Farmer’s Market (Brewer Park), Kanata Farmer’s Market

Bonnechere – Back Forty Artisan Cheese
Available from: FoodSmiths in Perth, Serious Cheese, The Piggy Market, Carp Farmer’s Market

Réserve La Pérade – Fromagerie F.X. Pichet
Available from: La Trappe A Fromage

Gré des Champs – Fromagerie Au Gré des Champs
Available from: La Trappe A Fromage

Avonlea Clothbound Cheddar – Cow’s Creamery
Available from:  Serious Cheese Shop, Farm Boy

Bleu D’Élizabeth – Fromagerie du Presbytère
Available from: La Trappe A Fromage, Ottawa Bagel Shop, Jacobsons Gourmet Concepts

 

Looking to discover more artisan cheeses? Every 2 weeks, I feature a different artisan cheese in my blog: Curd on the Street  Enjoy! 

 

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Prince Edward County is coming to Ottawa

Posted by Debbie

Wednesday, May 2nd, 2012
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Prince Edward County is Canada’s fastest growing wine region. Not to be mistaken with Prince Edward Island, ‘The County’ as it is commonly referred to, is only a three hour drive from downtown Ottawa.  In the heart of The County, the quaint Loyalist town of Picton boasts restaurants, inns, shops, Sandbanks Provincial Park and most importantly 25+ wineries await your visit. It is no wonder that, ‘The County’ is a perfect day trip or weekend getaway.

The County is coming to the City!

No need to wait for the summer to discover The County since over 15 wineries (both large operations & small family run wineries) are coming to Ottawa on May 9thto give you a ‘taste’ of what is in store when you visit their property. This is the first time that the wineries have come together to host a wine tasting event of this magnitude in Ottawa.  Rest assured that anyone (wine enthusiasts and novices alike) can attend to meet the winery owners & winemakers to learn more about their winery, their vineyards … and, of course, sample their best wines. More info about this special wine tasting event on www.countyinottawa.evenbrite.com

 

Take note that the wines from Prince Edward County have been quickly making an impression.  Internationally renown wine writer, Matt Kramer of Wine Spectator Magazine, named Norman Hardie’s Prince Edward County Chardonnay VQA 2008 as one of his top wines of 2011: “This is a truly great Chardonnay of compelling character.”  And Kramer has MANY wines from around the world to choose from to make his annual top wine list. While this Chardonnay was singled out, there are several other Whites, Reds and even Roses that are turning heads.

At this event, it is your turn to be impressed. 

And you can buy your favourite wine too. Most of The County wineries have small inventory, so their wines are not stocked on the LCBO shelves.  When The County comes to the City, you can order any combination of your favourite wines directly from the winemakers to be delivered straight to your home or office.

The #1 reason to go to The County… Terroir Wine Festival

Hop in the car & join Savvy Company & many other wine enthusiasts on Saturday May 26th to celebrate the wines of Prince Edward County at Terroir – A County Wine Celebration. Sip, savour & graze around the historic Crystal Palace from 12pm – 8pm meeting winemakers & taking in seminars hosted by Savvy Company, winemakers & other wine personalities showcasing wines, cheeses & food in The County. Tickets $35 in advance ($40 at the door). We look forward to seeing you there!

 Hop on our bus! We are working on a roundtrip bus package from Ottawa. Interested? Email us to receive info as soon as it is ready.

 


 

 

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Spanish Flavour Fiesta & Sparkling Wines

Posted by Susan

Thursday, March 15th, 2012
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Hola España! If you enjoy Spanish wines, you’ll want to pay particular attention to the March 17 LCBO Vintages release. Included are a range of styles and varietals, including vibrant Albariño from Rías Baixas on the Atlantic, lively Verdejo from Rueda, Mencia from Bierzo and Monastrell from the plateaux of Almansa and Jumilla. There are also Tempranillo-based wines from the classic denominations of Rioja and Ribera del Duero. Almost all of these wines are under $20, many of them aged several years, offering great value.

As an example, the Cerro Añon Reserva blend of Tempranillo, Garnacha, Mazuelo and Graciano is from the 2005 vintage, the Vega Sauco Adoremus Tempranillo from the 2004 vintage. A younger wine such as the Olivares Altos de la Hoya Monastrell is a steal at $13.95.

Pick up the Vintages catalogue for suggested food matches to some of Spain’s signature grapes! If you enjoy the classic style of dry sparkling wine, produced using Pinot Noir and/or Chardonnay in what is known as the ‘Traditional Method’ (a precise measure of still wine, sugar and yeast is added during bottling, kick-starting the second fermentation in bottle, after which the wine rests on the lees and acquires yeasty, toasty notes), the secondary feature will be of interest. The selection ranges from Heidsieck Champagne through the Okanagan’s See Ya Later Ranch Brut, to the very tasty South African Graham Beck Brut sparkling. If you’re into pink, choose the Lefèvre Rémondet Crémant Rosé from Burgundy, Mumm Napa’s Sparkling Rosé, or Niagara’s G. Marquis Ice Rosé kissed with a touch of Cab Franc ice wine.

There are some unique, iconic wines in this release, including the Chateau Montelena Chardonnay, the Bordeaux-style red blend Opus One by Mondavi and Baron Philippe de Rothschild, Concha & Toro’s Don Melchor Cabernet Sauvginon, Château de Beaucastel Châteauneuf-du-Pape, and my absolute favorite, the Quintarelli Valpolicella Classico Superiore 2002. Released following the death of its legendary winemaker Giuseppe Quintarelli earlier this year, it’s not to be missed. Among the Canadian wines, Flat Rock’s Twisted white wine is always fresh and flavourful, Henry of Pelham’s Barrel Fermented Chardonnay is a well-crafted value, and the Aces Okanagan Seven Deuce Red is substantial and tasty—and entertaining!

Cheers and Enjoy,
Susan

If I only had $100, I would buy . . .
LCBO Vintages Release as of Saturday, March 17, 2012


See Ya Later Ranch
Brut n/v

VQA Okanagan Valley, B.C.
$20.95 (Vintages #271049) 12.5% alcohol
Here’s a very nice value from the south-central Okanagan, a well-crafted sparkler also produced using the traditional method. Dry, medium bodied, it’s fresh with aromas of grilled grapefruit, floral notes and a hint of nut. The nutty note replays on the dry, medium-bodied palate, fine mousse offering a clean fresh texture and carrying attractive flavours of citrus and orchard fruit through an extended, lively finish. Pick up a few bottles to celebrate spring!

Lefèvre Rémondet Crémant de Bourgogne Brut Rosé n/v
AOC Bourgogne, France
$15.95 (Vintages #265306) 12.0% alcohol
You can’t go wrong with this great value from Burgundy. The color of fresh cranberry juice, it offers appealing clean aromas of red berry fruit and lightly-grilled toast. The mousse is fine and delicate, fresh red fruit flavours crisp and bright—think cranberry, pie cherry and red currant. It finishes tangy, crisp and fruity. What’s not to like—stockpile a few bottles for casual gatherings.

Cerro Añon Reserva 2005
DOCa Rioja, Spain
$18.95 (Vintages #114306) 14.0% alcohol

Principally Tempranillo, this blend displays its lengthy oak aging with notes of vanilla, sandalwood and toast adorning red and black berries. Dry, medium-full bodied, plush and lively fruit wraps around still-perceptible tannins and fresh acidity, nuances of vanilla and sweet spice adding complexity. Charry toasty notes persist on the lasting dry yet fruit-filled finish. A substantial wine crafted for long-term cellaring, offering excellent value.

Wakefield Shiraz 2009
Clare Valley, Australia$17.95 (Vintages #943787)) 14.0% alcohol
From one of Australia’s first families of wine, this is a dry, substantial wine showcasing a subtle yet defined structure. Fragrant with ripe berries, spice, pepper and vanilla, the texture is tangy with fresh acidity, ripe tannins creating a clean frame for the spice-infused dark fruits washing across the palate and through the toasty finish. You’ll want a few bottles of this award-winning wine to enjoy now and to cellar medium term.

Quinta Nova Pomares 2009
DOC Douro, Portugal
$16.95 (Vintages #214007) 13.5% alcohol

Semi-transparent ruby, this attractive blend of classic Port grapes features high-toned aromas and flavours of red fruit, spice, dried herbs and vanilla. Dry, medium bodied, the impact on the palate is lively and fresh, the texture is appealingly silky, the tannins sleek and subtle, the finish tangy and refreshing. A well crafted wine that offers good value, drinking well now and cellarable short term.

Grand Total: $90.75


Worth the splurge: An iconic wine from a legendary producer …


Quintarelli Valpolicella Classico Superiore 2002

DOC Valpolicella, Italy
$79.95 (986117) 15.0% alcohol

Can a wine engender bliss? If so, this is the one! A decade old, released just after the death of its illustrious winemaker, Giuseppe Quintarelli, this fine garnet wine offers subtlty, elegance, depth and pure tasting joy. On the nose, whispers of leather, earth, evolved fruit, dried cherries, subtle spice and vanilla layer, mingle and merge on the palate. Pure silk, the texture is lush yet remarkably fresh, the tannins supple. There’s a sense of warmth and earthiness, of exquisite integration and balance, and a finish that lasts and lasts. Dinner out or this wine – no contest!

 

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Cheese to beat the February blahs – zesty Lemon Fetish

Posted by Vanessa

Thursday, February 23rd, 2012
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February can be a ho hum time of year and so my cheese pick this week – Lemon Fetish – is the perfect curd choice to beat off the blahs and replace them with a little bit of zing and zest.  Hailing from Prince Edward County, Ontario, Fifth Town Artisan Cheese Co.’s littlest cheese family member is one of over 20 varieties of sheep, goat and cow milk cheeses.

A pretty package, Lemon Fetish is an unripened, feta-style sheep’s milk cheese, made from Local Food Plus milk producers, and shaped in small, round wheels weighing in at only 100 grams, but delivering a huge impression.  Rolled in Red Fife wheat and lemon zest, the paste (inside of the cheese) has a dry, crumbly texture.  Enjoy citrus and sour cream notes, and fresh, clean, tangy and salty flavors.  A little goes a long way thinly sliced over mixed greens, to garnish a gourmet vegetable quiche or anywhere you would use traditional feta cheese.


FACTBOX:
Cheese:  Lemon Fetish
Producer:  Fifth Town Artisan Cheese Co.
Interesting Fact: The Red Fife Wheat used to coat the cheese was invented by David Fife – operator of the first experimental farm in Canada.


Enjoy! – Vanessa

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Blue cheese you’ll die for!

Posted by Vanessa

Thursday, January 26th, 2012
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As the temperature falls, I prefer cozy evenings indoors, crackling fires, big spicy red wines & slow cooked comfort food.  And to go with them is this week’s cheese pick, the perfect cold weather curd, Bleu D’Élizabeth.  Produced by family run Fromagerie du Presbytère, in the central region of Québec, it’s named for the small, recently-restored rectory that houses the cheese factory in the village of Sainte-Elizabeth-de-Warwick. 

This beautiful, semi-soft, raw organic cow’s milk blue cheese has a natural rind with spots of dark clay.  The creamy, silky, melt-in-your mouth paste (inside of the cheese) is speckled with blue and blue-green veins throughout from the presence of Pénicillium Roqueforti (what makes a blue cheese turn blue).  Bleu D’Élizabeth is rich in flavor, with a hint of sweetness and spice, without being overbearingly salty.  Cold Canadian nights call for this hearty blue on your cheese board, either shining on its own, or playing a starring role as your dessert plate, joined by your favorite local ice wine, iced cider or port.


FACTBOX:
Cheese:  Bleu D’Élizabeth

Producer:  Fromagerie du Presbytère
Interesting Fact: The piquant (spicy) flavor in blue cheese is a result of mold development (veins) due to exposure to air.

 

Enjoy! – Vanessa

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Try a different cheese – Premium Goat Milk Cheddar

Posted by Vanessa

Thursday, January 12th, 2012
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This week’s pick is a cheesy collaboration between two famed Ontario producers in Prince Edward County.  Premium Goat Milk Cheddar is the perfect marriage of fresh 100% pure County goat milk courtesy of Fifth Town Artisan Cheese Co., and the over 100 years of cheddar making know how contributed by Black River Cheese Company, the region’s longest surviving factory.  An interesting contrast to cow milk cheddar, it has won multiple awards since the first batch in early 2009, for the mild, one year, and flavored varieties at the American Cheese Society Competition and Royal Winter Fair, among others.

When young, enjoy fresh milk and a hint of fruit, characteristic of traditional cheddar.  The surprise comes with age—an unexpected burst of tangy zing, milky, sharp, complex, concentrated fruit sweetness, and a hint of caramel, coupled with the tiny crunch of tyrosine crystals (an indication of quality and age in cheese).  Consider yourself lucky to find the smoked variety (a breakfast cheese fave as I love the bacon-like flavor that occurs from the local applewood chips used in smoking).

 

FACTBOX:
Cheese: Premium Goat Milk Cheddar
Producer:
  Fifth Town Artisan Cheese Co., Black River Cheese Company
Interesting Fact:
 It takes approximately 10 pounds of milk to produce 1 pound of cheddar cheese.

 Enjoy! – Vanessa

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Maple Cheddar

Posted by Vanessa

Wednesday, April 20th, 2011
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Oh Canada, you produce such delicious cheese and Black River Cheese epitomizes this as one of our oldest farmer-owned dairy co-operatives with over 100 years of cheesemaking experience. 

My cheese pick this week is Black River’s Maple Cheddar.  The idea for Maple Cheddar was born in 2003 to coincide with the Prince Edward County festival “Maple in the County”.  The Cheddar is aged 5-8 months, shredded, mixed with local Fosterholm Farms pure amber Maple Syrup and Maple Sugar, pressed into cheese hoops, cut into blocks and packaged. 

It’s still an example of what good medium cheddar should be, yet has a surprise flavour twist.  It has a nice, dense, smooth paste (not too dry, soft and still crumbly), milky aromas, clean slightly fruity taste, and is accented with true Canadian maple flavor without being overly sweet.

I’m always happy to celebrate my Canadian heritage with Maple Cheddar from Black River Cheese. To make it a truly Canadian culinary experience, pair with a local microbrew or cider.


FACTBOX:
Cheese: Maple Cheddar
Producer:
Black River Cheese Company
Where To Buy:
  Il Negozio Nicastro’s (Bank St. between Third & Fourth Ave), The Piggy Market (Westboro), Thyme & Again Creative Catering, Herb & Spice Shop &  Farm Boy
Interesting Fact:
Black River Cheese have been producing cheese in The County since 1901, despite a fire that destroyed their facility in 2001.

Enjoy! – Vanessa

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Le Jupon Frivole

Posted by Vanessa

Wednesday, April 6th, 2011
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Named after the famous Parisian music hall depicting fun and frivolity, La Fromagerie des Folies Bergères cheeses are a far cry from foolish.  Launched last year in Ottawa, these lovely cheeses, from Sainte-Sixte, Québec, continue to be a smash hit in Ottawa. Lots of love, passion and farmstead milk from the over 150 sheep they raise creates a wide variety of yummy ewe’s milk cheeses. Maggie Paradis and Christian Girard proudly state that they, “are in the business of selling pleasure, not cheese”. Their light-hearted approach to cheesemaking – and life – is evident right down to the cancan dancing sheep with colourful tutus, adorning their product label.


After April 1st, we leave behind foolery and choose delicious fun.  This week’s feature stars Le Jupon Frivole, a soft, surface-ripened pasteurized sheep’s milk cheese.  The small, delicate wheel has a thick, white bloomy rind, with a pale ivory paste that is fluffy and slightly crumbly when young, becoming rich and creamy with age. Earthy, mushroomy aromas are mixed with slightly yeasty, salty flavor.  Enjoy with a full-bodied red wine.

 

FACTBOX:
Cheese:
Le Jupon Frivole
Producer:
Fromagerie Les Folies Bergères, Sainte-Sixte, QC
Where To Buy:
  42 Crichton Street Fine Foods (New Edinburgh), Il Negozio Nicastro’s (Bank St. between Third & Fourth Ave), The Piggy Market (Westboro), Aubrey’s Meats (Byward Market)
Interesting Fact:
 As The Folies Bergère was the first music hall to open in Paris, Fromagerie Les Folies Bergères were the first producers of sheep’s milk cheese in the Outaouais region.

Enjoy! – Vanessa

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Original Feta

Posted by Vanessa

Friday, March 25th, 2011
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As we let go of cold and snow, and days are noticeably longer, I feel a mounting sense of spring in the air, bursting with possibilities and renewal of life.  When I think spring, I think all things fresh and new – bringing to mind lambing season and farmstead cheeses.  This, in turn, makes me think of Canreg Station Farm & Pasture Dairy, a family operated dairy sheep farm in Finch, Ontario (South of Highway 43).

This week, I’m thrilled to share my “kick off spring” cheese pick – Canreg’s Original Feta cheese – made from the high quality sheep’s milk produced by the over 380 ewes that call Canreg home.  Over 20 types of cheese are hand crafted by Josef Regli and family, produced “out of pasture” using milk processing methods in small batches similar to a European method of cheesemaking.  Rich, dense, moist and crumbly, but not overly salty, this fresh, unripened traditional Greek style feta is, in a nutshell, stunning.  Try with your favourite mix of olives, spiced nuts, or as the perfect finish to your favourite salad.

Original Greek Feta - Canreg Station & Pasture Dairy


FACTBOX:

Cheese:
Original Feta
Producer:
Canreg Station Farm & Pasture Dairy, Finch, ON
Where To Buy:
  Byward Market (winter season), Ottawa Farmer’s Market (summer season)
Interesting Fact:
 Feta is a protected designation of origin product in Greece.  The name comes from the Italian word fetta, meaning “slice”


Enjoy!Vanessa

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